The 2nd annual Lemonade Stand Fundraiser will be held during the Wakeboard Club’s Learn to Ride Day on Sept. 22 from 12 to 3 p.m. at the north ski pavilion. The fundraiser is hosted by Canyon Lake resident Cara Garcia and her family in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The proceeds will benefit Create a Smile, a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire children one smile at a time by offering gifts to those who have been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing treatment in order to enhance and ease their quality of life.
Cara is no stranger to the dread of childhood cancer and valuable organizations such as Create a Smile. In November 2015, Cara’s three-year-old daughter Juliana was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumor following a routine wellness check-up.
Wilms’ Tumor, also referred to as Nephroblastoma, is cancer of the kidneys that typically occurs in children. Four days after being diagnosed, Juliana had her left kidney and the tumor attached to it removed. Following surgery, Juliana received six months of chemotherapy in order to reduce the chance of recurrence. Currently, Juliana has to have scans every four months until the age of seven to make sure her cancer hasn’t returned.
Cara chose to donate the money from this year’s fundraiser to Create a Smile because the organization is near and dear to her family’s heart. Last year, Create a Smile gifted Juliana a ninja bike and helmet and a trip to Legoland.
“From the moment we met this non-profit, they felt like family,” said Cara. “They treated us like family, hugging and kissing my children as if they were their own.”
After Juliana was gifted a “smile,” the organization stayed in touch with the Garcia family, inviting them to its events where they were able to share and talk with other families dealing with pediatric cancer.
“The support we as a family felt from complete strangers was incredible,” said Cara. “We want to give back to them because they are doing amazing things to enhance the quality of life for children battling this ugly deadly disease.”
In addition to selling lemonade, the Garcia family will be selling raffle tickets for $5 each. Prizes have been donated by Beauty By Bee Salon, Dot Dot Smile, Bombshells, Aqua Lily Pad, AO Coolers, Lake Lyf Gear, and California Skier, to name a few.
Those who can’t attend the fundraiser but wish to make a donation can do so at createsmiles.org.