Warriors for a Cure tops the nation again

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation began as a four-year-old’s lemonade stand.

Alexandra “Alex” Scott had cancer. She wanted to help find a cure for all children in her situation, so she started selling lemonade out of her front yard to raise money.

Alex Scott died in 2004, at the age of eight, but her lemonade stand has since grown into a national fund-raising entity that has raised upwards of $100 million for pediatric cancer research.

Alex’s Million Mile Run is an annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation initiative held in September, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The foundation’s affiliated teams from around the country attempt to run, walk and ride a collective total of one million miles before the month is up to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research.

Warriors for a Cure, Fairfield County’s team of mostly Wilton members, succeeded on Sept. 30 in keeping its title as the event’s Top National Fund-raiser for the third year in a row, this time donating $73,183 to the foundation.

The team’s members met at the Spread restaurant in South Norwalk on Oct. 16 to celebrate that success.

Warriors for a Cure’s co-founder and co-captain, Wilton resident Jeff Snyder, CEO of Inspira Marketing Group in Norwalk, kicked off the talks with a hurrah.

“We did it! he said to a round of applause. “Three years in a row, Warriors for a Cure has been the number one team in the country for Alex’s Million Mile. This was not only the best year in monies raised, but from a participation rate, from an employee engagement rate, I have never been more proud to be a part of a company with employees rallying behind it, to be part of a community with everyone jumping on board to support this, for such a wonderful and worthy cause. I beg you and plead with you to please mark your calendars next year; we’re coming back; we’re going to be number one again.”

He then introduced a very special guest.

“Today,” Snyder said, “we are truly truly blessed. I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to Liz Scott, who is Alex’s mom.”

“Thank you for everything,” Scott said. “What you guys do, what you accomplish in September, is not just noticed by you and me, but people talk about it at the office. We have other teams that ask us, ‘How are they raising all this money? How are they logging all these miles?’ And we tell them, ‘Well, Jeff and Dave are a huge powerhouse behind it,’  but the things you guys do, the way you engage your community, you get your kids involved, you fundraise, you log your miles, is really amazing, and what I like about it most is I think it really captures the spirit of Alex’s lemonade stand and what Alex created, which was the idea that every single person can make a difference, everybody can do something, whether it’s one mile or 250 miles, or a dollar or $12,000 — it all adds up, and we’re making a huge difference for kids with cancer.”

“We will definitely count on you being number one next year,” Scott ended. “I have no doubt about it.”

Snyder presented Scott an oversized check for $73,183 made out to Alex’s Lemonade Stand with “Cure Childhood Cancer” in the memo line.

He also awarded co-founder and co-captain of Warriors for a Cure WIlton resident Dave Pennino, CEO of LogicSource, also in Norwalk, with “The Big Squeeze” trophy, recognizing him as the most valuable individual donor on the team, “big squeeze” of course punning on the lemons juiced to make lemonade.

“The Big Squeeze is going to our top fund-raiser, our top individual donor. This individual also rallied his entire company around the cause and stepped up with the largest company donation as well, so Dave Pennino, you’re getting The Big Squeeze. You’re going to keep this for a year, and then we’re handing it out year after year to the top donor,” Snyder said.

Mayor of Norwalk Harry Rilling was in attendance and made a few remarks.

“I’m so proud that Norwalk is the home of LogicSource and Inspira,” he said. “That’s what Norwalk is all about: giving back, and doing the things that are right.”