- The Washington Times - Friday, June 17, 2005

Afleet Alex didn’t capture the Triple Crown this year, but the horse and its owners reached a milestone of a different kind. They helped Alex’s Lemonade Stand raise more than $250,000 for pediatric cancer research — one of the largest recorded contributions to a community charity.

Afleet Alex’s owners decided in the fall to donate a portion of the horse’s first-, second- or third-place wins in any race to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which funds research for neuroblastoma and other pediatric cancers, according to Jay Scott.

His daughter, Alex, who had neuroblastoma, founded the charity in her front yard in 2000 when she was 4 years old.

The charity followed Afleet Alex’s success on the racetrack all the way to Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, where an Alex’s Lemonade Stand raised almost $12,000 the day of the race, Mr. Scott said. Afleet Alex’s success — the horse came in third in the Derby — brought additional attention to the charity, encouraging other horse owners, racetracks and racing fans to support the cause.

Last weekend’s Belmont Stakes raised $140,000 at lemonade stands at 37 racetracks, Mr. Scott said. Two other horse owners individually donated $62,500 and $37,000. An additional $18,000 was raised at the Preakness Stakes last month. Afleet Alex won the Preakness and Belmont.

“We had the triple crown of lemonade stands this year,” Mr. Scott said.

The $250,000-plus the charity attributes to horse owners and fans is a portion of the $1.6 million the charity has raised since its inception in 2000, according to Mr. Scott.

The funds are one of the largest series of contributions to a charity at a community foundation to date, according to Phil Arkow, communications officer of the Philadelphia Foundation, of which the charity is a component.

The charity has grown into a national charity, with 1,000 lemonade stands across the country. Though Alex died of the disease in 2004, her family continues the charity in her honor.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand gives grants to cancer research hospitals to find a cure for neuroblastoma and other forms of pediatric cancer. The Scotts recommend which hospitals receive grants, a list that has included the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Mr. Arkow said.

In 2004, the charity raised $1 million, which was distributed in grants to hire eight cancer researchers.

“We’re extremely grateful that sports fans have embraced this charity as much as the rest of America has,” Mr. Arkow said.

Afleet Alex’s breeder, John Silvertrand, suffers from terminal cancer. His illness encouraged the owners to donate to a cancer charity.

“They told us he was a good horse,” Mr. Scott said. “We didn’t know how good he was.”

The Belmont Stakes coincided with a monthlong series of 1,000 Alex’s Lemonade Stands scheduled to take place across the country to raise funds.


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