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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Bentley Jefferson

Bentley Jefferson

Newport News, Virginia

Bentley Jefferson, 12, of Newport News, Virginia, a seventh-grader at Hampton Christian Academy, has raised thousands of dollars for kids with cancer over the past nine years by operating a lemonade stand in her community. When she was 3, Bentley saw a TV commercial about selling lemonade to help children with cancer. “I knew what cancer was because my grandfather was going through it,” she said. Realizing that she, too, could sell lemonade, Bentley asked her parents to register for the annual Anthem LemonAid fund-raising event, and to help her build a lemonade stand. In July 2012, she raised $625 over three days by selling lemonade in her driveway.

The next July, Bentley began setting up her lemonade stand every Saturday at car shows organized by her parents’ classic car club. She mixes the lemonade, packs ice into coolers, gathers other supplies, and posts notices on social media. After her parents help her set up her stand, she dispenses cups of her beverage and requests a $2 donation. All of her proceeds go to the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Hospital of The Kings Daughters in Norfolk. “I pray that one day there will be a cure for childhood cancer,” said Bentley.