In September 2011, Auntie Anne’s formed a charitable partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) in an effort to raise awareness for childhood cancer and help fund research to find a cure. Since then, more than 2.3 million dollars has been raised for ALSF, including nearly $500,000 in 2015. Fundraising efforts include national in-store campaigns, coin canister donations, local lemonade stands, pretzel rolling rallies, and the annual C.A.R.E.S. Golf Tournament. The $2.3 million raised represents more than 46,000 hours of cancer research – that’s more than five years of research time!
The Personal Story of Maya Rigler
To keep the momentum going in 2016, Auntie Anne’s franchisees and associates had the opportunity to hear from one of ALSF’s most inspiring supporters, Maya Rigler. Only 11 years old, Maya has already survived two bouts of cancer. When she was two, Maya was successfully treated for a Wilm’s Tumor. Last January, she was diagnosed with an unrelated type of cancer called a Ewing’s Sarcoma in her pancreas. She just finished her treatment and is now in remission.
“The chance to help find a cure for this horrible disease made me incredibly happy.”
Speaking at the FOCUS Brands Conference in Las Vegas last month, Maya shared how she started a virtual lemonade stand page after receiving her diagnosis last January. Her first goal was to raise a lofty $10,000; she surpassed that within a week! Within a year she had raised over $250,000, and to-date has raised an incredible $365,000!
“The chance to help find a cure for this horrible disease made me incredibly happy,” Maya said. “Throughout radiation, surgery, and chemo I have been living by the motto of Alex Scott and ‘making lemons into lemonade.’ I think it’s really powerful to turn the bad into something good, especially in these kinds of situations where you can feel upset and discouraged.”
Below is a video of Maya’s speech. If this doesn’t inspire you, nothing will.