Close connections to cancer victims and survivors compelled three Elmira boys to action. In order to raise local awareness and funds for children with cancer Alex Hutton, Andrew Weber and Kieren Oberholzer built a lemonade stand in front of Weber’s house on Bristow Creek Drive on Monday.“We thought about kids that have cancer and wanted to help; we didn’t want to charge too much [for lemonade],” said Hutton sitting behind the lemonade stand.
According to statistics from Canadian Cancer Society, an estimated 75,700 deaths from cancer are expected to occur in Canada this year. Current cancer statistics also indicate that despite being the number one cause of death in the country the cancer death rate in Canada is going down with overall rates dropped by 21 per cent in men and nine per cent in women between 1988 and 2007.
Two full jugs stood among various posters the boys erected on the driveway as they called to neighbors and drivers to stop and purchase a glass of pink or regular lemonade donated by No Frills. Weber’s mother, Kaity Weber, approached the grocery store with a letter that the boys had written, explaining why they wanted to raise the money through their lemonade stand and the company agreed to provide the beverage.
The lemonade stand was open between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Charging 25 cents per glass of lemonade the venture managed to bring in $153 with purchases and donations from neighbours, family friends and three police officers. The boys and their parents plan to reopen the stand next Monday from 8:30 a.m. until noon, before sending the total funds to the Canadian Cancer Society.
“There have been a few kids in town that have had cancer and they hear about it,” she said while helping her son and his friends promote the fundraiser in front of her home.
The boys are no strangers to the topic of cancer having been close to many cancer victims and survivors in their families and school.
In addition to posters promoting their lemonade, the boys pointed out a large picture they had drawn of members in their families who were either victims or survivors of cancer. Weber’s two grandmothers both had cancer. His mother’s birth mother died of the disease and his mother’s step-mother whom he calls nana, is a survivor. The boys also explain that Oberholzer’s mother also beat cancer and Hutton’s grandfather died from it.
Hutton came up with the idea for a lemonade stand in May and family members have been planning the fundraiser with the boys ever since. He said he thought the funds should go to everyone with cancer not just kids.
“I think we should do not just kids. Half kids, half adults,” said Weber as he stood between Hutton and Oberholzer behind the lemonade stand.