By Christopher Smith
Seven-year-old Callie Tuck says she knows the difference between a want and a need.
“You need food but you want a video game,” she said. “A want is something you want when you really just need something else.”
Callie said she is happy with her basic needs: family, food and shelter. But she said she also knows some people need more than just everyday necessities.
“Because sometimes people get cancer,” she said. “So we are getting money to stop cancer.”
To get the money, Callie helped several students at Westside Elementary School convert five first-grade classrooms into lemonade stands. Hundreds of students and family members filled the rooms Friday afternoon, buying lemonade and lemon cookies at 50 cents each.
The profit will go to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer, said school officials.
“Alex was a little girl that had cancer,” Coulter Cochran, 7, said. “She died. It was really sad.”
The foundation started in 2000 at the front yard lemonade stand of then 4-year-old Alex Scott who suffered from neuroblastoma cancer, according to the foundation website (www.alexslemonade.org). Alex responded to her disease by raising money to help find a cure. Alex died in 2004 at the age of 8.
Since then, Alex’s lemonade stand concept has sparked a movement across the nation. Several children about her age continue to raise money by selling lemonade and sending all profit to the foundation.
“We’re doing the lemonade stands to stop cancer,” Coulter said, “so no one dies from it anymore.”
First-grade teacher Katie Sullivan said the compassion the Westside Elementary students showed was “amazing.”
“They’ve even brought in birthday money,” she said. “It’s been really exciting. This has turned into something much bigger when we realize we could do our own lemonade stand and help a good cause. I think the kids have really enjoyed it.”