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Lemonade lessons


WL siblings lemonade stand raises money to fight childhood cancer

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Logan and Karina Rower serve lemonade on Aug. 27 to raise money for childhood cancer research.The lemonade stand is an enduring icon, capturing children’s imaginations as well as their entrepreneurial ambitions and evoking nostalgia in adult hearts.

They pop up all over the city during the year’s hottest months, with children selling the sweet-tart treat just for the fun of it — or to raise money to treat themselves to some coveted item.

Karina and Logan Rower are lemonade stand veterans. The brother-sister team has held three or four in years past, estimates 8-year-old Karina, a third-grader at Trillium Creek, but this one was different.

This one was for cancer.

“I wanted to have a lemonade stand,” Karina said. “And I wanted to do it for charity. ... I wanted to help people who have problems, and I wanted to fix the problems so there will be less people with problems.”

With the help of their mother, Jessica Mehta, Karina and Logan, a 12-year-old seventh-grader at Rosemont Ridge Middle School, did some online research about ways that kids can help kids. Together, they decided that their lemonade stand would benefit the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), an organization dedicated to fighting childhood cancer. by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Customers enjoy cold drinks at the Rowers lemonade stand on Aug. 27.

They operated their lemonade stand outside their home on West Linn’s Crestview Drive for two hours on the afternoon of Aug. 27, raising a total of $137.50. That amount does not include early donations from family and friends.

ALSF isn’t the only beneficiary. Karina and Logan learned a lot as they prepared for their experience.

“First we had to set a goal,” Mehta said, which was set at $55.

“Then we had to figure out how many cups of lemonade we had to sell at 50 cents” to meet that goal, Mehta said, which equated to 110.

“Then we had to figure out how many gallons,” Mehta said. “They did a little bit of math.”by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Karina Rower, 8, handles the cash register while Alex Rower, 12, wears a handmade lemon costume.

At her older brother’s prompting, Karina shared the story of Alexandra “Alex” Scott, the founder of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. A Pennsylvania resident, Alex died of cancer at the age of 8 after battling her own cancer since before her first birthday. Starting at the age of 2, Alex regularly held lemonade stands, donating the money she raised to cancer research. At the time of her death, in 2004, she had raised and donated more than $1 million.

“After she got out of the hospital for her surgery on cancer, she wanted to have a lemonade stand,” Karina said. “And she gave the money to doctors to find a cure for cancer.”

The proceeds from those first lemonade stands went to fund research on neuroblastoma, the cancer that took Alex’s life — and a word that Karina carefully and correctly spelled out.

ALSF is a registered nonprofit that operates nationwide. The foundation is launching its Million Mile Run this month to raise awareness during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. Find more information online at alexslemonade.org and millionmilerun.org.