Sometimes, a glass of lemonade is more than just a glass of lemonade.
In the case of Madison King and Nadia Greco, it’s a chance to raise money for an important cause and help people suffering through an illness.
From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 7, the Cicero neighbors will host a lemonade stand where they will sell lemonade, water, cookies and other treats to raise money for The Molly Project, a Cicero-based nonprofit that recruits professional photographers to take on-location portraits of women with cancer and their families. The charity was founded by Kristin Atkinson, after whose mother Molly the charity is named, as well as Kristin Johnston and Tara Polcaro.
“Women facing or taking care of someone with cancer or terminal illness seldom think about preserving the memories when appointments, treatments and surgeries are so critical,” said the organization’s Facebook page. “The Molly Project was started to make it easier for these women to step in front of the camera so that they and their families will have photographs that capture the beauty of their bond for generations to come.”
The young neighbors on Rollercoaster Drive will help them to carry out that mission through their stand this weekend. King, 10, and Greco, 9, have held a similar fundraiser for the last several years, donating the proceeds to pediatric cancer charity Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Past efforts have raised more than $1,000.
According to Madison’s mom Lisa King, the family learned of The Molly Project at an event at Gillette Road Middle School.
“I just learned of this foundation while selling tickets for a Gillette Road Middle School function with my friend, Kristin Johnston,” Lisa King said. “She explained to me that she is a cofounder of this amazing organization with her 2 friends and I was touched by their commitment to making families feel blessed and happy during very difficult times. I do feel that cancer, as well as other terminal illnesses, touch all families in some capacity. So the gestures of The Molly Project provide a sentimental keepsake for families to treasure. I feel that The Molly Project ties in nicely with our past fundraisers for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.”
King said she approached Johnston about hosting the fundraiser for The Molly Project this year.
“We are thrilled,” Johnston said. “They have such big hearts, and we are so touched that they would help us promote The Molly Project. Their event is well-known in our community and it means so much to us that they have selected The Molly Project as the beneficiary. Our community has been so supportive of The Molly Project’s efforts and this event is just one more example of that support.”
Johnston said she hoped the event helps to raise awareness for the organization.
“We want everyone to know what we are doing so that when a woman is diagnosed or her loved one is diagnosed, the family knows that a free photography session is available to them,” she said. “Through the sessions, our intent is to capture the loving bond of the family so that they can comfort the family for years to come.”
In addition to raising money for a worthwhile cause, the fundraiser helps the King family impart important principles unto their daughter.
“Our core family values that we have instilled in Madison are the importance of family time and to be charitable in your actions,” Lisa King said. “This is definitely a bonding experience for us as a family, and Madison feels very proud to participate in this fundraiser. She understands the sadness and difficulty that families experience while coping with the care of a terminal loved one.”
The event takes place at the Kings’ home, located at 8434 Rollercoaster Drive in Cicero, in conjunction with their annual garage sale. All proceeds from the sales of lemonade and other treats will benefit The Molly Project.
For more information about The Molly Project, call 698-1925, themollyproject.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Facebook.com/TheMollyProject.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.