Kayli Hertel – Features Editor
September is a month of many things. It is the month when leaves begin to change colors and students head back to campus for the year, but it is also known as Childhood Cancer Awareness month. On Wednesday, September 18 students Danielle Cutillo and Colby Gilman will be holding a lemonade stand on the lawn of the Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) to raise money for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
The organization began with Alexandra “Alex” Scott, a young girl who began selling lemonade after her fourth birthday to raise money for pediatric cancer. While Scott had a specific type of cancer known as neuroblastoma, she vowed to help raise money for kids with all types of pediatric cancer.
According to the foundation’s website, http://www.AlexsLemonade.org, “In August of 2004, Alex passed away at the age of 8, knowing that, with the help of others, she had raised more than $1 million to help find a cure for the disease that took her life.” Today there are a number of ways for an individual to get involved with the organization.
For Cutillo, getting involved began when she saw other colleges holding their own stands in honor of the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and spreading awareness about the cause. “I’ve always wanted to have one,” said Cutillo. “We have the Relay for Life walk every spring, but this will be a good event to have in the fall semester to raise money and awareness.”
Today, many people know someone affected by cancer. “I’ve had family members battle it and supported them through the process,” Gilman said, adding that creating an atmosphere of support is crucial when dealing with the sensitive topic of cancer. She hopes this event will help to raise money and to stretch the bonds of support within the Lasell community.
The pair reached out to the CCBL’s assistant director, Tiesha “Byrd” Hughes, with a plan to hold a stand raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer. Over the summer, Cutillo and Gilman contacted Hughes with their idea and together with the CCBL they submitted a request to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR).
“It is important for students to be supported in pursuing their own interests and passions. Any person with an idea, an interest, or a passion they’d like to pursue is welcomed at the CCBL,” said Hughes. Many of the events held at the CCBL are student run initiatives, which cause students to foster a sense of leadership and connectivity within campus.
Cutillo and Gilman have more ideas for the future. Both students have a vision of creating a club that will go out into the community and do service projects at a variety of places. “We are hoping to do more new activities and make new connections,” said Cutillo of plans to work with organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, Rosie’s Place and Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
The Alex’s Lemonade Stand event will take place on the CCBL’s front lawn from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Students, staff and faculty will be able to purchase lemonade or donate to the cause during this time.
“[The event] will consist of a lemonade stand that is mostly running off of small donations and in return the donators or people walking by will learn a little something about childhood cancer to remember and spread awareness,” said Gilman. “Then the money we raise will be sent to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand organization and 100% will go to research.”
For those interested in service, the CCBL offers several opportunities to work with organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Boston Renaissance Charter Public School, the Greater Boston Food Bank, and many others. Hughes suggests stopping by the CCBL, located in Klingbeil House and asking for more information.