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When life gives you lemons...

June 15, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Alexandra "Alex" Scott's fight against cancer continued Saturday at Charles Town Races & Slots, raising about $12,000.

Scott died in August of neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer.

At age 4, the Pennsylvania girl opened a lemonade stand to help raise money to pay her doctors.

Her actions led to a nationwide fundraising campaign that has raised more than $1.8 million for the fight against cancer.

On Saturday, more than 40 racetracks continued Scott's fight against cancer, raising $114,000 for the battle.

At Charles Town Races & Slots, track officials erected a lemonade stand similar to Scott's on the apron in front of the grandstand. Visitors were asked to make a donation for any amount in exchange for a cup of lemonade, track officials said.

Charles Town patrons stuffed money into a five-gallon container, and the total at the end of the day was about $5,000, said track spokesman Roger Ramey.

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Following up on their promise to match the amount donated by patrons, track owners donated $5,000, Ramey said.

Horsemen at the track donated another $2,000.

"It was a pretty big thing," Ramey said.

Charles Town raised the second-highest amount behind the Belmont (N.Y.) Race Course, Ramey said.

Money raised through the effort has made an impact in pediatric cancer research, track officials said.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia identified a critical need to fund research support staff so the number of children in clinical trials could be increased, according to information provided by track officials.

Alex's Lemonade Stand awarded the hospital a $200,000 grant for more research staff, which allowed the hospital to triple the number of children enrolled in clinical trials.

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