Outside Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square, things were anything but sour as our award-winning Culture of Caring committee sold lemonade to raise money to help eradicate childhood cancer. It was all part of the tireless efforts of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, or ALSF, to raise money and awareness, to fund new research, and to empower people around the country, especially children, to get involved in the fight.

The inspiration for ALSF was Alexandra Scott, “Alex,” who started her very own lemonade stand in her front yard and raised $2,000. She was only four years old, and had been fighting neuroblastoma since her first birthday. By the time of her death in 2004, she had raised $1 million, and inspired others to build on her foundation for a creative fundraising strategy.

Today, lemonade stands are only part of what ALSF does to raise cancer-fighting funds. Bike rides, running and walking events, culinary gatherings, kickball games and more raise millions each year; last year, ALSF hit the $140 million mark.

Of course, many of the customers at the Sonesta lemonade stand were local Philadelphians out for a lunchtime walk or tourists exploring the city. But our ambitious lemon squeezers also got the word out via social media, urging one and all to stop by for a nice cold refresher. By day’s end, Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square was proud to contribute $1600 to ALSF—quite a respectable amount for an afternoon.

Read more about Alex’s Lemonade Stand here, and consider opening a stand yourself!