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Updated May 8, 2006.

Simon's 9th Birthday Lemonade Stand on May 17, 2006

The Lemonade Stand Movement

Lemonade Stand 2005 During the summer of 2004, family and friends of Simon joined the Alex's Lemonade Stand movement to raise money for pediatric cancer research by selling lemonade. That year, Alex Scott and her family made a big push to get lemonade stands in every one of the fifty United States of America. Simon's health was fading fast, and he was not able to set up his own stand. Nor were we as a family able to organize one ourselves. But friends held stands at the Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake City. Others set up shop in Park City, Utah. The Olson family teamed up with Simon's Williams family cousins to sell lemonade in Seattle, Washington.

Simon learned of these stands before he died. We were grateful to have others carrying this important torch in our behalf. On August 1, 2004 we learned that Alex Scott had died at the age of eight after fighting neuroblastoma for seven and a half years (see Mary's entry in WHAT'S HAPPENING for August 1, 2004). Simon took his last breath just five days later.

Although we have yet to meet in person, our two families feel a strong bond as we live on without Simon and Alex. They both lived valiantly in spite of battling the same terrible disease, and each left a unique and shining legacy.

The first Lemonade Stand in Simon's memory was held by friends at Uintah Elementary School at the beginning of what would have been Simon's second grade school year. They sold lemonade in front of the school August 25-27, 2004, raising $1,800 for the cause. Watch the ABC4 local news story about this moving tribute to Simon.

In the spring of 2005, Steven Rosenberg, the owner of Liberty Heights Fresh, approached our family about doing another lemonade stand in Simon's memory. Steven's sons Tobias and Noah knew Simon from school. We settled on Simon's birthday, May 17th, as the date for our event. It was a great success, raising $800 in lemonade sales over two hours with an additional donation of $400 (10% of the day's store sales at Liberty Heights Fresh) for a total of $1,200. For photos and a recap of media coverage of the day, see 2005 Stands for Simon.

Simon's Birthday Lemonade Stand is now an annual event, held on May 17th. Full details for this year's event are here, including information about volunteering at the stand and making a donation to Simon's stand online.

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation

Alex's book In a spirit of hopefulness and in honor of Simon, many groups have organized Lemonade Stands to raise money for pediatric cancer research. The idea comes from a girl named Alex Scott, who founded Alex's Lemonade Stand in 1999 as a four-year-old facing neuroblastoma. Alex's efforts expanded over the years, and she made national headlines in 2004 and appeared on Oprah! and The Today Show. Now called Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, combined efforts nationally raised $4 million in 2005. The goal for 2006 is $6 million!

Sadly, Alex was not able to find a cure for her own disease. She died on August 1, 2004. Simon died just five days later. We believe the two of them have a powerful partnership in their new world. Alex's family has been very kind in sharing honors with Simon, even in their own terrible grief. Although we have not yet met in person, we feel a tremendous bond with Alex's family.

In 2004, Alex and her parents, Liz and Jay Scott, published a children's book that tells the story of how Alex got the Lemonade Stand started. The book is called Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand (ISBN 0975320009). It's a lovely story with cheery illustrations, and it should be available from online booksellers.

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has a newsletter, and you can learn more about activities of the foundation and the good work it is doing to support research to find cures for pediatric cancer. Try this link or visit Alex's site and click on the Newsletter link there.

What's the difference between Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and Simon's Memorial Fund?

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation is devoted to raising and granting money to support pediatric cancer research. With guidance from its medical advisory group, Alex's family consult with leading research facilities to make grants that will have a high impact on the ability to conduct research. In the fall of 2004, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation made a grant to the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to fund the position of a data manager to analyze results of pediatric cancer treatment studies. We are honored that this gift was made in Simon's memory.

The Simon Craig Vodosek Memorial Fund is a donor-advised fund within the Calvert Giving Fund. Simon's parents, Mary and Markus, are the advisors of this fund. Our purpose is to support activities that celebrate life in ways that Simon used to do. For example, we used money from Simon's Memorial Fund to bring Gemini to Salt Lake City in November 2004. These favorite performers from Ann Arbor shared the music Simon loved at our church and at Simon and Miriam's schools. In 2005, we sponsored at concert at Utah's Hogle Zoo with another of Simon's favorites, Two of a Kind. We think Simon would have enjoyed the performances along with his friends.

In the coming years, we intend to operate Simon's Memorial Fund as a small endowment, using annual earnings on the fund to support programs like the Gemini and Two of a Kind visits to Salt Lake City.

We are especially supportive of Alex's Lemonade Stands held in Simon's memory because they provide a great balance to our own memorial efforts. Because we have chosen to honor Simon's high commitment to "Quality of Life", we are grateful that there is a thriving charity to raise money for the important cause of finding ways to cure pediatric cancer and prevent the future suffering of children like Simon and Alex.

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