As the Lakewood Fourth of July Celebration heats up Saturday, one Chautauqua Avenue business will be serving up sweet relief for a good cause.
Mindy's Place, the popular family eatery which opened in the village late last year, will be hosting Alex's Lemonade Stand, a national fundraiser which donates money to research about childhood cancer.
Mindy's daughter, Evamarie Anderson, said she was inspired to set up the stand when she saw a news broadcast telling the story.
''I was getting my daughter dressed and ready for day care, and Alex's father was on the TV talking about it,'' she said. ''By the end of the show, I was completely in tears.''
In 2000, a 4-year-old cancer patient named Alexandra ''Alex'' Scott announced a seemingly simple idea; she was holding a lemonade stand to raise money to help her doctors find a cure for kids with cancer. She got the stand up and running with the help of her older brother Patrick in July of that year, and the idea since has spawned thousands of lemonade stands and fundraisers across the country.
All the money raised goes to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) charity. According to its Web site, the money helps pay for research into new cures and treatments and raise awareness for pediatric cancer causes.
''Alex's father was on TV talking about it.
By the end of the show, I was completely
Although the foundation is growing and has raised more than $19 million for childhood cancer research, Alex died at the age of 8 on Aug. 1, 2004.
''I have a small child, and I know so many in the area,'' Ms. Anderson said. ''This whole idea came from a four-year old; I never imagined a child getting so involved like that.''
She explained that her mother loved the idea of hosting the stand, and decided to help another way in addition to placing the stand in front of her restaurant. Mindy's Place will be contributing total proceeds from lemonade sales in the restaurant to the lemonade stand.
''It's similar to the Salvation Army soup drive she held around Christmas time,'' Ms. Anderson said. ''And the lemonade will go good with the red, white and blue pancake special she is running.''
Ms. Anderson said that she wouldn't have been able to put the event together without the help of her family and a few local businesses.
Susan and Gene Wilston of Industrial Welding donated all the lumber for the stand, and her father Earle Sandberg and uncle Sam Walton built it.
She said that the stand will be run by many of the children in the family, including her cousins Sam, Megan and Taylor Walton.
Wegmans also played its part in making the stand a reality in Lakewood, donating more than 30 gallons of Country Time Lemonade for the event.
''The people at Wegmans were truly great,'' she said. ''They gave me a gift card and told me to get whatever I needed.''
Ms. Anderson said she is still waiting to hear back from Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, but already has a vision of the stand running smoothly and helping to make a difference.
Alex's Lemonade Stand will be in front of Mindy's Place restaurant at 48 Chautauqua Ave. from about 10 a.m. on Saturday, until the fireworks begin later that day.
For more information, visit www.alexslemonade.org or call Mindy's Place at 526-4166.