By Amanda Foust
Lemonade stands have always been a popular business for young children, but a group of College Wood Elementary students recently took this venture a step further.
Starting with a cup of lemonade and a heart for giving back, kindergarten teacher Abbie Mann led an initiative that raised about $16,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
College Wood promoted fundraising events each day of the week Jan. 19 to 22. They had Penny for Patients Tuesday, Bills to Blast Cancer Wednesday and Hat Day Thursday. The event ended with a lemonade stand on Jan. 22. All money raised went to cancer research and patient support.
This idea began five years ago when Mann’s father was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma.
“At first, I didn’t know how to handle it,” Mann said, “I felt like this was one way I was actually doing something.”
The students learned several lessons throughout the week of fundraising, but perhaps the most crucial was the importance of helping others.
“I’m feeling pretty happy that people can get some medicine to feel better,” said kindergartener Laim Bennett, 5.
“People can lose their hair when they have cancer,” said kindergartener Payton Sevening, 5. “I want to help them.”
The kindergarten class was involved in the process from the start, raising more than $1,400 as a single class. All of College Wood was involved reaching out to neighbors, family and friends for support.
“Mrs. Mann has used this experience to educate her students about giving, fundraising, and how scientists use money to find ways to help sick people,” instructional assistant Kim Roche said.
The kindergarten class was in charge of the business plan, advertisement and working the booths.
“My biggest hope for these kids and what they take away from this experience is that even though they are young, they can still really make a difference in people’s lives,” Mann said.
Since 2011, College Wood has raised $41,828 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.