Canyon Lakers show support for childhood cancer

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Juliana is all smiles holding the poster given to her, along with a $250 donation, by the CL Co-ed Softball League. Brother Gavin is pictured with her. Photo provided by Cara Garcia

More than 150 Canyon Lakers turned out for a Lemonade Stand Fundraiser held at Indian Beach on Sunday in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Organizer Cara Garcia said, “We had families and older people. Some were our friends, but most of the people we didn’t know. People would mention that they saw the article in The Friday Flyer, posts Facebook, flyers I posted around the community, or the sign we had at the entrance of Indian Beach.”

The event raised more than $1,400. Cara, whose daughter Juliana was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumor following a routine wellness check-up in 2015, is donating all the proceeds to two childhood cancer support organizations: Maxlove Project and Carsyn Neille Foundation.

Helping Cara and her husband Jorge man the lemonade stand were their children Gavin and Juliana, neighbors and a friend of Gavin’s. “The kids were so excited. They would stand at the entrance of Indian Beach and wave signs and rush back to the stand to serve the customers that drove into the park. They kept running back and forth,” said Cara.

More than 100 cups of lemonade were poured. The Lemonade was free, donations were encouraged. Many people declined to take the lemonade and said they just wanted to donate.

The Garcias’ neighbors, Jason and Erin Allsberry, donated potted succulents to sell for $5 each and their family friends who own a bakery donated several dozen oversized muffins that sold for $3 each.

The average donation was $20, but there were some larger notable donations made as well. Canyon Lake Co-ed Softball League donated $250 and Ria Riley, owner of the Sports Stop Pub & Grill, donated $200. “One man brought a bag full of quarters ($35 worth). He told me it was from his date night fund. He wanted to meet Juliana and insisted that she pour his lemonade,” said Cara.

Cara was particularly touched by a woman whose daughter was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. “She was crying and wasn’t able to make it out of her golf cart. She gave a $40 to a friend to donate for her,” said Cara. “A friend of mine went over hugged her, but I couldn’t get away from the stand to talk to her before she left.” A few days later, Cara found out who the woman is and plans to get in touch with her to offer support, referrals and information on various cancer support groups.

Cara, encouraged by the support she received from fellow Canyon Lakers, is considering organizing another Lemonade Stand Fundraiser. “There were several people who said we should do this again, so I’m thinking of making it an annual event,” she said.

Those who were unable to attend the fundraiser but would like to make a donation in Juliana’s name can do so by visiting Maxlove Project at Maxloveproject.org or Carsyn Neille Foundation at Carsynneillefoundation.org.

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