More than a dozen PhilaU students participating in the START Leader training program spent a full morning volunteering with two important community partners in June.
Through an exciting partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand and the East Falls Community Council, the START Leaders, who help first-year students transition to college life at PhilaU, were able to make a significant impact on the local community.
The students began the day at 7 a.m. by volunteering at the East Falls Flea Market with Tom Sauerman, president of the East Falls Community Council. The flea market helps give local vendors an opportunity to sell their goods in a dedicated space and boost the local economy. As volunteers, the students helped set up McMichael Park and direct shoppers to the flea market stands. The market is an annual tradition in East Falls and serves as a significant fundraising event for the community council.
“Our positive partnership with Philadelphia University grows each year,” Sauerman said after the event, praising the students for their hard work. “We are fortunate to have you all as neighbors.”
START Leaders also staffed an Alex’s Lemonade Stand, raising $538 dollars for the charity. Founded in 2005, the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation seeks to raise awareness and raise money for cancer research through lemonade stands around the country.
The nonprofit was founded by the parents of Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who passed away in 2004 at the age of eight, battling cancer her whole life. At age four, Alex asked her parents if she could start a lemonade stand and give the money she made to doctors working for a cure. Her stand raised $2,000 the first day, and to date, the foundation has raised over $40 million.
Jay Scott, Alex’s father, will speak on PhilaU’s campus on Thursday, Sept. 8 about finding purpose in tragedy and keeping his daughter’s legacy alive through the foundation. PhilaU students will also have the opportunity to volunteer to staff lemonade stands at the University’s annual Day of Service on Sept. 27.
“Our work with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation helps promote the sense that everyone, no matter what age, can make a difference,” said Aurelio Valente, associate dean of student development programs.
“It is important to have our student leaders, who exercise great influence on new students, exemplify the value of service at Philadelphia University in a meaningful way,” Valente said. “At the end of the day, our leaders were very proud of their work as part of the East Falls Community and advancing the work of a young visionary who wanted to end childhood cancer. This was a wonderful opportunity to have our student leaders serve and support two important community partners.”