BY LIZZY SMITH
I tend to keep my daughters very busy during summer months. So in addition to travel plans (we just got back from a very fun road trip to Seattle and Canada, and we are leaving for Florida in two weeks), camps, and lots of physical activities, Bill and I decide that they should also learn a bit about giving back to their community. What better way to do this than raise fund for the Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI)?
So we have planned a series of lemonade and cookie stands in our neighboring town, Lehi, Utah. Bill is running for Lehi City Council and has vowed to walk every major neighborhood in the city before Election Day meeting residents and business owners. He ordered up neon T-shirts with one side the Myeloma Crowd logo and the other a Vote Bill Conley Lehi City Council. I often join him on these walks and we are impossible to ignore. On one particular evening, we started off Bill's walk with our lemonade and cookie stand. We raise $70 for my personal MCRI fundraising page!
Here's how we did it:
1. My two daughters, 15-year old Morgan and 9-year old Siena, baked cookies the day prior. We kept it simple, buying ready-made cookie dough.
2. On the day of our event, we loaded up our car with a five gallon water bucket filled with lemonade, cups, our cookies, a table and signs that we were raising funds for cancer research.
3. While Siena and her two friends managed the donation table, Bill, my parents and I held up signs for Bill's candidacy and the fundraiser.
We are hosting another lemonade stand next week on the same evening of a "Meet the Candidates" night. Since Bill will be at this event, we'll set up across the street an hour prior and when we are done, attend Bill's event and meet Lehi residents and discuss Lehi issues.
This is a fun activity that is also a family event. We all have a vested interest in helping find a cure for myeloma, after all. It is teaching my children some important lessons about what it means to do something selfless, and we have fun together doing it.
Consider doing something fun with your family and raising money for MCRI. For ideas to get you started, click here. Share with us your family activities or fundraising efforts at email@example.com.
about the author
Lizzy Smith was diagnosed with myeloma in 2012 at age 44. Within days, she left her job, ended her marriage, moved, and entered treatment. "To the extent I'm able, I want to prove that despite life's biggest challenges, it is possible to survive and come out stronger than ever," she says.