When Life Gives You Lemons...

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Hearing that someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer is never an easy thing to handle, but sometimes we can make the best of it. Aiden Devine is a sixth-grader at Emmet Belknap Intermediate School in Lockport, New York. He might be young, but he’s already making a big difference in the lives of others.

Aiden’s grandfather became a Roswell Park patient after being diagnosed with cancer. (Fortunately, he’s in remission now and doing well.) His family’s experience with cancer inspired Aiden to do something to help other patients. During the summer of 2019, Aiden decided he wanted to open a lemonade stand for charity. With some help from his mom, he bought supplies to build and paint a mobile lemonade stand to raise money for Roswell Park. He put up a sign to let his customers know their money would support a good cause. On the very first day, one of his best friends set the tone for the summer by purposely leaving behind more money than he owed for his glass of lemonade. It might seem like a small gesture, but it made a lasting impression.

Aiden made a commitment to his lemonade stand and kept it going throughout the summer. He put his own special twist on it by also selling homemade ice pops, iced tea and lemonade, and he even combined the two drinks to make Arnold Palmers.

With the help of friends and family, he transported the stand to different locations. His family had recently moved and had a big house-warming party, so he made sure the lemonade stand was operating that day to take advantage of the captive audience in his backyard.

It took a lot of time and effort, but his first summer project was a success. Aiden raised $500 to support cancer research and patient-care programs at Roswell Park. He was surprised and touched by the generosity of everyone who stopped by the stand. Their donations and their kind words reinforced the feeling that fundraising is one very important way to support the work at Roswell Park.

Aiden’s advice to other kids who are interested in fundraising is to not be afraid. The feeling of donating is uplifting and exciting, and it makes you feel good about yourself. You don’t need to have a grand plan — just have a simple item to sell and a sign that lets customers know that the money will stay here in our community to help cancer patients at Roswell Park.

If you’re interested in hosting your own fundraiser, visit