Riley Miller, 14, of Bowling Green, Ky., an eighth-grader at Drakes Creek Middle School, has raised $50,000 over the past three years for childhood cancer research by organizing a citywide day of lemonade sales. After Riley's little brother lost his battle with leukemia, she "realized how important it is to make a difference in the short time we have here," she said. While visiting her brother in the hospital, Riley had learned about another young cancer patient, Alex Scott, who founded Alex's Lemonade Stands to raise money for pediatric cancer research. "I wished I could do something like that," said Riley. "I really wanted to help these families and children." So Riley decided to host an Alex Lemonade Stand and asked friends and business owners to help. She received so many offers that she was inspired to put up stands all over town and involve the whole community in her fund-raising project.
Riley set a date for her event, assigned stand locations to volunteers, contacted the news media, made signs and flyers, walked door-to-door to tell people about the sale, and secured supply donations. On Bowling Green's third annual Alex's Lemonade Stand Day last July, Riley managed 200 volunteers and 29 stands, collecting more than $19,000 and bringing her three-year total to $50,000. "It was a great day," she said. "I have never felt such pride and sense of being as when I am working hard to help others."