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A Lemonade Stand for Simon, August 25-27, 2004

ABC Channel 4 News Story

Students, parents, and staff at Uintah Elementary School joined forces to create a huge tribute to Simon during the first week of school. For the first three days, they sold lemonade outside the school to raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand, which funds pediatric cancer research.

The event was successful in all kinds of ways. For some families, it was the first time they learned of Simon's death. After he finished the last school year in pretty good shape, his quick death over the summer has been a surprise for many. The celebratory and proactive nature of the Lemonade Stand helped people channel their feelings in a positive way.

The Lemonade Stand also helped the community come together to help each other work through the loss of a dear person. For some, Simon was a peer. There is a special sort of discomfort that comes at the loss of someone so like your own self. For others, he was the friend of their own child, making relationships to our living children feel all the more poignant. For others, he was a student and community member. We have all admired the wonderful attitude and sunny disposition that Simon showed throughout his life. We all wish we could have had more time in his presence.

The Uintah Lemonade Stand raised a whopping $1,825.64. The money was sent to Alex's Lemonade Stand in Philadelphia. We are humbled to say that Alex's Lemonade Stand, in turn, has made a grant to the Simon Vodosek Memorial Fund of $1,000. In the words of Alex's parents,

    "As you probably know, Alex's Lemonade Stand makes grants for pediatric cancer research. We are sure that if Alex were here today she would fully approve of making a donation to Simon's Memorial Fund. We hope this will help keep Simon's Legacy alive."
We are grateful to all who worked hard on the Lemonade Stand, and especially to Pert Eilers and Stephanie Metos. We are also grateful to local businesses who supported the effort.

On the first day of the Lemonade Stand, ABC Channel 4 News stopped by the stand and later at our house to cover the story. That video clip is here for you to watch as a QuickTime movie.
Download QuickTime

ABC Channel 4 News Story, August 25, 2004 (3.9 MB Quicktime movie, 2.5 minutes)

A few notes on the TV story:

If you don't see the video yet, it's probably loading in. It starts with silenced volume under the initial titles, then the volume cranks up when you see the male anchor. You may need to increase the volume on your computer to hear it well.

The anchor mistakenly calls Simon's cancer "neurobalostoma" (instead of neuroblastoma), a flub that seems to indicate how few people know the meaning of "blast", which refers to immature cells. The big problem with neuroblastoma cells is that they aren't mature enough to function as proper cells with a programmed time for cell death, so they grow out of control.

The reporter states that cancer was found in Simon's skull at diagnosis. It's true there was already bone involvement in the skull at diagnosis, but the big concerns at that time were bone marrow disease and the primary tumor on his nerve column, near the left adrenal, and the metastatic tumor threatening paralysis on his spine in his upper back, and the tumor growing on his right lung. Not a very good soundbite, is it?

The song you hear in the news story is called "You've Crossed Over", written and performed by Laz Slomovits of Gemini. The text of the poem appears as a separate Tribute to Simon.

More Tributes to Simon

SIMON'S PLACE | A Web Site For Simon Vodosek