We caught up with this year’s Nonprofit Excellence Award honoree to see how the Greater Philadelphia business community has contributed to their success. Check out what Rachel Simpson, Public Relations Specialist, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has to say as we highlight one of the excellent small businesses driving the Greater Philadelphia region. Join us as we honor this year’s winners at the 37th Annual Excellence Awards on Thursday, November 21.
Where did the idea for your business come from? Describe the moment that you decided to go into business for yourself.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) was founded by Alexandra “Alex” Scott. When Alex was four-years-old and battling neuroblastoma, she decided that she wanted to host a lemonade stand to raise money for research to help other kids fighting childhood cancer. Word spread and her first front-yard lemonade stand raised more than $2,000. Alex, a very determined little girl, was inspired to do more. She thought that if everyone held a lemonade stand, collectively they could raise $1 million — a goal she met just weeks before passing away at the age of eight in 2004. Her parents, Liz and Jay Scott, decided to carry on Alex’s mission and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was established as a non-profit. Fifteen years later, ALSF is one of the leading childhood cancer non-profits in the country, having raised more than $175 million and funded research at 135 institutions in the United States and Canada.
What is your business philosophy and how is it unique?
ALSF is changing the lives of children with cancer by funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families, and empowering everyone to help cure childhood cancer. We believe in supporting the entire family which is evident in our unique programs, including SuperSibs and Travel for Care.
How has the Greater Philadelphia business community impacted your success?
The Greater Philadelphia business community has been incredibly supportive of this organization. We have many community business and charity partners who go above and beyond to contribute in so many ways.
What does it mean to you personally and/or to your business to be named an Excellence Award winner?
We appreciate being recognized for our efforts to support our local community and beyond by such an impactful, community-driven organization.
Where do you see your business in 10 years?
It is with great hope that there is a cure for childhood cancer and essentially no need for ALSF in 10 years. Until there is a cure, ALSF will continue to fund innovative research that leads to better, less toxic treatments for children.
How can nonprofits use the business community to help promote their mission?
Community events are an amazing way to spread awareness. We invite our business partners to our charitable events. Many of our business partners also have in-store promotions for ALSF. For example, they may sell printed lemons at their registers or host lemonade stands in their stores.