Lemon-Aid stand boys return to raise money for childhood cancer
THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) - When life hands their community lemons, Thomas and William Casper and J.C and Neil Wise make lemonade.
“It was very successful last year, so we’re hoping it can be the same this year,” said William.
What started off as your typical lemonade stand quickly turned into a mission to give back. The four Thomasville boys changed the meaning of your average stand. They’ve dedicated their summer days to giving their earnings to others, all while giving hope to the people of South Georgia.
Last year, the boys were able to raise $5,000 selling lemonade along with chips, cookies and BBQ sandwiches that they helped make. The money was donated to a local woman with cancer, covering the cost of some of her chemotherapy treatments.
“It’s been pretty cool and we like donating and helping people out that are in need,” said JC.
Now they’ve returned for their first “stand for a cause” for the summer. All of the boys agreed that it was not the money that brought them back, but instead, it was a little girl named Preslee.
“Preslee is our daughter and she was recently diagnosed with cancer, childhood cancer. So, we are just getting started into our 15-month-long journey of her treatment,” said Haley Blalock.
The 6-year-old, who her mother says is vivacious and athletic, was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in April. Blalock says her family thought Preslee was struggling with sinuses; however, after medication did not help clear up the issue, that’s when they received the news.
“It’s absolutely gut-wrenching when it’s your child. It’s terrifying you don’t know what’s going to happen. All you can do is ray and hope that her treatment completely heals her,” said Blalock.
With a campaign called “Pray 4 Preslee,” the Blalock family has been receiving support from all over their community. Preslee’s story reached thousands of people, including those behind the Lemon-Aid stand.
“It sucks to have cancer when you’re little, so we just want to help them as much as possible and help her get over it,” said William.
On June 3, the boys dusted off their tent, baked their cookies and prepared a fresh batch of lemonade on the corner of Nottingham Drive and Old Monticello Road. In just a few hours, they sold out of their menu, raising around $5,300.
The Thomas County Sheriff’s Office and the Thomasville Police Department heard about the stand and Preslee’s story, and they joined the hundreds of others in the community in sharing their support with a $500 donation on behalf of the Goodwill Project.
The Lemon-Aid stand organizers are already planning their next stand for July 15. While the stand started off small, it’s making a big difference in the community, bringing people together, and giving families like the Blalocks hope.
“There’s no way to properly thank anyone for all that everyone has done for us. I don’t know how to thank everyone, just from the bottom of our hearts, from my family’s hearts we are so grateful, and thankful and so blessed by everyone who’s supporting us right now and supporting Preslee,” said Haley.
To support Preslee Blalock, you can visit her Pray 4 Preslee page on Facebook for information on how to give.
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