Las Vegas lemonade event targets childhood cancer research

Updated June 4, 2018 - 9:45 am

Years ago, when Felicia Nakhla of Las Vegas heard the story of 8-year-old Alexandra Scott, she was moved. The Connecticut girl who was fighting cancer also had set up a lemonade stand in her yard to raise money for research efforts.

“I saw her on Oprah,” said Nakhla, now 36 and a server at Planet Hollywood. “I was moved by her story and I always told myself that was something I wanted to do — have a lemonade stand.”

Alex’s appearance on Oprah stayed in Nakhla’s mind over the years. She’d been wanting to get involved, but couldn’t remember Alex’s name. At a Toys-R-Us years later, an attendant asked if she wanted to donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.

“I’m like ‘oh my gosh, it’s Alex,’ ” Nakhla said. “I rewatched her video on YouTube and was touched again. I knew it’s what we should do.”

On Sunday, Nakhla and her niece, 16-year-old Alexandra Elliott, will host their fifth annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand in a daylong event at Sunset Park.

“Our first stand was big, but not as big as now,” said Elliott, who will be a junior at Palo Verde High School this fall and aspires to become a pediatrician. “I was in the National Honor Society and my aunt wanted me to do the lemonade stand. So I told all of my friends about it and they came to help. It was fun. There were a lot of people, everyone was donating. This brings the community together.”

Nakhla and Elliott say everyone in that community is a hero — parents, children, firefighters, anyone “taking a moment out of your life to show up and make a difference,” Nakhla said. “You’re a hero.”

“We wanted children to come and be equally a part of the event,” Nakhla said. “We let them serve the lemonade, they all take turns and they love it. It’s so cute to see.”

They’ve raised $19,000 to date, according to Nakhla, who says the initial stand drew about 25 people. She expects more than 100 on Sunday, with a goal to raise $5,000 at an event that’s considered a “grandstand” — more of a community day with activities, entertainment, food, games and more. The event is in memory of 2-year-old Brady Louviere, the son of Nakhla’s co-worker Brian Louviere, who died a little more than a year ago from complications of cancer treatment.

What started as a young girl’s desire to help others has become a nationwide effort.

Alexandra Scott, who was born in 1996 in Manchester, Connecticut, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, just before her first birthday. In 2000, at just 4 years old, she told her mother she wanted to raise money to help children like her. Her first front-yard stand raised $2,000, and she later set a $1 million goal for cancer research.

“She believed that if every kid all over America could have lemonade stands, she would be able to raise $1 million for childhood cancer research,” Nakhla said, “and it’s gone on to raise more than $150 million.”

Scott died in 2004, but her effort continues to help children and families who are struggling with the effects of childhood cancer. The foundation, according to its website, has funded more than 800 research projects at more than 135 hospitals since 2005. Lemonade Days is now a weeklong annual effort (this year is June 2-10) in which thousands of people set up stands or sponsor other fundraising events.

“She shows us that no hands are too small to make an impact,” Nakhla said. “She believed that everyone together can make a significant difference, and it has. My niece, Alex, and I are honored to be a part of her foundation and carrying on her legacy. We want to share her story with others so people are touched the same way that we have been.”

Contact Mia Sims at msims Follow @miasims___ on Twitter.

Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like