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South County Students Work for Cure

Marketing students use knowledge learned in class to optimize donations.

Students enrolled in marketing classes at South County Secondary School recently put the knowledge they acquired in class to work on behalf of the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

As members of DECA, a national association of marketing students, the 60 students taking the course would meet after school on Thursdays and participate in team building activities to further develop their interest in careers in business. “We learned about the three P’s — product, placement and promotions — and also how to overcome obstacles that may get in the way of achieving a final goal,” said 11th grader Kate Julian.

“We would compete in DECA competitions related to product development and it was all very helpful in giving us more information about marketing and business," said 10th grader Fay Hennesy. This information would prove valuable when it came time to apply what they had learned to the community and work to spread the word of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Alexandra Scott thought up the idea for the foundation at the age of 4, having battled cancer since infancy. She setup a lemonade stand in her front yard in Connecticut and put the money she had earned toward cancer research. Alex died at the age of 8, as determined to find a cure for childhood cancer as she had been when she first set out on her endeavor. Her legacy can be seen in the success of the foundation and the millions of dollars people all across the country have worked together to raise.

“Much of the foundation's success has to do with the fact that Alex’s idea is so easy and accessible to everyone,” said Ligia Richter, public relations director for the foundation. “It can be as simple or as big as you want it to be and there are no limits placed on who can help.”

TOUCHED BY Alex's story and looking for a way for her students to summarize what they had learned in class, teacher Pearl Springfield found a way to combine the two. "This would be their culminating final exam project," said Springfield. "Students had to work together to decide on locations with the most traffic in an effort to get the most amount of donations."

One group chose to setup their stand on Saturday, June 3 in front of the Panera Bread restaurant located at the Kingstowne shops.

"Our ultimate goal is to raise $1,900 to be used to buy 137 copies of 'Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand,'" said Skye Riddle, freshman team leader for the Panera Bread stand. The plan is to then distribute the books to every elementary school in Fairfax County with the hopes of motivating young students to setup stands of their own and continue Alex’s fight for a cure to childhood cancer.

After three months of planning for the event, South County students were pleased that they were able to utilize their skills to not only meet, but surpass their fund-raising goal of $1,900.

"In the end, we raised over $2,200," said Fay. "I was really surprised at how much people donated. A lot of times, people don’t know how to help until you tell them."