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Turning lemons into lemonade: Lions Club raises funds for children with cancer

By Staff | Jun 19, 2019

From left, Jennifer May, of Shepherdstown, laughs with Shepherdstown Centennial Lions Club member Mike Sholl, Sr. at the club’s fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand on Friday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN – On Friday afternoon, members of the Shepherdstown Centennial Lions Club could be found selling lemonade at a stand in front of the Shepherdstown Public Library. Celebrating its second year in Shepherdstown, the lemonade stand was one of many across the country raising money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a national organization started by a child named Alex. Alex, who was fighting cancer at the time, held a lemonade stand to raise money to fund childhood cancer research and gained national press coverage, which led to the organization’s development, according to Shepherdstown Centennial Lions Club President Mike Sholl, Jr.

“We had a good turnout last year, and this year’s been decent,” Sholl, Jr. said, in between inviting passersby to buy lemonade. “To help children dealing with cancer was the reason we started doing the lemonade stand, because helping children is one of the staples of the Lion’s Club.”

According to Sholl, Jr., when the club found out about the organization, they quickly agreed to hold a lemonade stand of their own.

“I think it came up on one of our member’s Facebook feeds, and she brought it to us and said, ‘Let’s do it,'” Sholl, Jr., said.

At both last year’s and this year’s lemonade stands, over $250 was raised for the organization.

“Every little bit helps,” Sholl, Jr., said. “We’re always there to help and serve the community, and this is one way we can help children with cancer.”

According to Sholl, Jr.’s father and fellow Lions Club member Mike Sholl, Sr., the fundraiser meant a lot to him, because of his personal battle with cancer.

“I’ve had cancer, and I think it’s a good cause,” Sholl, Sr. said, mentioning this was the first year he has helped with the fundraiser. “It’s for children, and I just can’t imagine what a family goes through with a child with cancer.”

Incoming Lions Club Vice President Pam Donato had heard about Alex’s Lemonade Stand before she moved to Shepherdstown and joined the Lions Club last year, and she knew she wanted to be a part of supporting the organization’s efforts “to find better treatments and cures for childhood cancer.”

“I wanted to just do a little to try to help,” Donato said. “I remember reading about it in the national news when Alex did the first one. He was just a young kid making lemonade for a good cause. I remember thinking how admirable it was that a young kid could be struggling through something so horrible and still doing this. It’s why I don’t like it when people say millennials and young kids don’t do anything.”

As a few families stopped by the lemonade stand, Sholl, Jr. said this, along with the two-year-old club’s other service projects since its founding, helped Shepherdstown Centennial Lions Club win a major award this year.

“Today we were announced the club of the year for West Virginia,” Sholl, Jr., said, mentioning the award is based upon a club’s service projects. “It was a surprise. It wasn’t really our goal to be that, just to be the best in our community.”

To donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, visit www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1728681.