Though her family has not been directly affected by childhood cancer, Keely Garcia is working to raise money to help conquer the number one killer of American kids.
Garcia, 28, Racine resident and college student, has established a "For the Children" virtual lemonade stand tied to the Alex's Lemonade Stand website. For those unfamiliar with the story about Alex's Lemonade Stand, Alex Scott was a little girl with cancer who wanted to do something to help doctors find a cure. She raised $2,000 with her first lemonade stand set up in her front yard.
Word got around and soon there were lemonade stands popping up in various locations across the country inspired by Scott's simple idea. Unfortunately, Scott lost her battle with cancer. By the time she died at the young age of eight, Alex's Lemonade Stand had raised over $1 million and, now, in 2013, over $60 million has been raised for childhood cancer.
"Reading Alex's story is an inspiration," Garcia said. "I know people affected by cancer, but have not had anyone in my family touched by it. I think curing childhood cancer will end up helping everybody, and that's why I want to do this."
Garcia is taking classes at Cappella University pursuing a degree in project management. As part of her Motivating Teams class, she has to serve as the project manager for an activity or event that benefits where she works and/or the community.
"Being the project manager means finding a project and then recruiting a team and giving them assignments," she explained. "I have family and friends as part of my team and each of them has an assignment."
Her goal is to raise $1,000 by March 5 through both the virtual lemonade stand as well as by setting up an in-person lemonade stand at a local grocery store one day this month. Garcia said she's contacted some stores around the area but hasn't heard back yet about whether or not they'll allow her to set up a stand.
In addition to being a college student, Garcia also works in the logistics department at Case and is the mother of two children and two step-children.