ALSF: It’s All About the Kids!

Cancer Symposium-Jonathan-2013

After reading my past posts, you’re probably thinking I’m some type of hybrid between meteorologist and charter member of ASPCA; maybe that’s not far from the truth. In any event, I couldn’t let this update pass without a brief mention of the ever-changing Philadelphia weather: the past two days have been gorgeous with mild temperatures, brilliant sunshine and low humidity. Last week, however, was a different story, and I have the webbed toes to prove it. An interesting, although unpleasant, fact is that this is the wettest summer on record in Philadelphia, with close to 25 inches of rain so far. My top floor apartment became well aware of that fact when a portion of my roof fell in one night last week! All is fine, and damage was minimal, but it provides great fodder for the PULSE memory book.

A pattern of exciting, inspirational events take place through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, and this week was no exception. Last Tuesday-Thursday, the Student Leadership Academy was held at Villanova University for students entering 11th and 12th grades. “The ALSF Leadership Academy is a dynamic leadership camp for students, where participants learn key leadership skills in a fun setting. Participating students will learn how to become motivated leaders and make a difference in their own communities as ambassadors for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. As ambassadors, students will be challenged to bring ALSF’s mission back into their schools and communities.” On the closing day of the program, I had the opportunity to serve as one of the judges while attendees used immense creativity to present their project ideas around giving and motivating others. Take a listen to the imagination and talent on display here. Kudos to the Alex’s team, led by Johanna, for this amazing workshop!

The majority of my days are spent doing research on the computer, and meeting with the team as progress continues on the Strategic plan. On Saturday, I volunteered for the Childhood Cancer Symposium at the Westin Philadelphia. More than 35 families attended this free, day-long event, which was designed to be an educational resource, providing attendees with the opportunity to learn about issues and topics of cancer treatment. The program includes sessions for parents, teen and young adults, and the fun-and-exciting kid’s room, where I spent my afternoon. Jewelry making (I’m now quite accomplished at rubber band bracelets—Guess what you all are getting for your birthdays?!), t-shirt design, Lego’s, and simply running around made the time fly by. Thanks to Jonathan for the great conversation and assistance during my moments of dexterity challenge. A special treat near the end of the day was when a group of therapy dogs came by (no fear—I have plenty of pictures) to be greeted by squeals and hugs from the kids. In our work environments, we strive to bring the skill set necessary to do our jobs well. In coordinating this event, Shirley exemplified that ideal. Great job!

Now it’s back to toggling between spreadsheets and word docs. Please check back again soon, and let me hear your thoughts. Take care!