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The Paw Print

Poly parents and student raise $1.3 million for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Caroline Norman

From delicious plates of shrimp dogs to lemon pizza, more than 50 chefs gathered at UCLA on Saturday, Sep. 23 to cook for the annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a fundraising event hosted by Poly parents, chefs and restaurateurs Suzanne Goin and David Lentz. This year, the event raised $1.3 million dollars for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF).

Founded by Liz and Jay Scott in 2005 in honor of their late daughter Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who passed away from neuroblastoma at eight, ALSF strives to help children with cancer by fundraising for research and raising awareness. Alex Scott was diagnosed with neuroblastoma just before her first birthday, and, at four years old, she told her parents that she wanted to set up a lemonade stand in order to give money to find a cure for cancer. Her first “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” raised $2,000 in one day, and, when she passed away four years later, she had raised more than $1 million to fund research for the disease that cost her her life.

Goin and Lentz attended The Great Chefs Event, the first culinary event to benefit ALSF, in Philadelphia in 2008, which was hosted by their dear friend, chef Marc Vetri.

“When Liz and Jay told Alex’s story and legacy, we were crying our eyes out,” said Goin. “We were reminded of our three young kids back home and just couldn’t believe the pain and suffering that the Scotts went through. Alex’s story hit really close to home, and we just had to do something.”

Inspired by The Great Chefs Event and how the Scotts were able to use their grief to help others, Goin, Lentz and their business partner, Caroline Styne, were determined to create a similar event in Los Angeles — L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand. They envisioned an outdoor cookout filled with food, children’s activities and auctions, where families could support a great cause and enjoy signature dishes and drinks provided by stellar chefs, brewers and mixologists across the country.

L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand debuted in 2009, and this year marked its return after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time, tickets sold out two weeks prior to the event, and more than 2,500 guests came.

Junior Alex Lentz, daughter of Goin and Lentz, and her brothers, junior Jack Lentz and sophomore Charles Lentz, have been involved with the L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand since they were two years old.

Alex Lentz serves as the chair of The Kids Campaign, a youth group that honors Scott’s legacy by holding lemonade stands across Los Angeles. The group has raised more than $240,000 in the last four years and another $70,000 through this year’s auction.

“I share a name with Alex Scott, the creator, and I will never understand why some kids get sick and others are completely fine, but I do know that I have this opportunity to help share her story, raise awareness and find a cure,” said Alex Lentz. “I am very lucky that I am healthy, so doing this is a way of giving back for everything that I have been fortunate to have.”

Liz Scott also shared her thoughts on Alex Lentz’s contributions: “I am so proud to see how Alex Lentz has grown up believing she can make a difference for kids with cancer, just like my daughter Alex,” she said. “It is inspiring to see how she is now leading the next generation of kids, showing them how they can get involved. She is ensuring that my daughter’s legacy continues. I truly believe we will reach the day when all kids with cancer can be cured, thanks to all of our efforts.”

“Alex and I are not very different, and I do feel this sense of responsibility because of our similarities,” shared Alex Lentz. “She is just another version of who I could have been, and so in that sense, I owe it to all the kids who are fighting pediatric cancer around the world to try and fix it.”

Caroline Norman
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Ashley Kim
Ashley Kim, Editor-in-Chief
Grade: 12 Years on Staff: 4 Fun Fact: I may learn how to drive before I learn how to ride a bicycle… Favorite Book: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
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