Dapper Students and Staff Raise More Than $3,000 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand

May 10, 2017
Photo by: David Biggy

When Lori Coyne visited Disney’s Epcot last fall, she developed a great idea to bring back to the Ronald L. Meinders Primary Learning Center.

“I got to see the real Dapper Day, and I thought it would something fun for us to do here at PLC,” said the Manahawkin school’s principal, who along with several other staff and faculty members organized their own version of Dapper Day, held at PLC on May 3. “The question was how would we pull off a Dapper Day in conjunction with a fundraiser and what that would look like.”

What Coyne and her PLC staff came up with was a rather dapper parade, during which they and the kindergartners of the school dressed up in 1950s and ’60s styles, and a coinciding lemonade sale, through which any donations received were collected to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

And so, with beautiful, sunny weather brightening the morning, Coyne led the procession of several hundred through the parking lot, with staff and students clad in all sorts of stylish garb – from bow ties and suspenders to posh skirts and lovely hats. The parade circled the parking lot twice, as parents and grandparents snapped pictures and captured video of their dapper darlings.

“The whole theme of Dapper Day is to ‘Step Out in Style,’ and Disney does it twice a year at several of the parks,” Coyne said. “And we figured the lemonade would be a great accent to the parade, so everybody there to watch our parade of dapper students could have a little something to drink.”

Two lemonade stands were available to visitors who wanted to contribute to the fundraiser, even if they didn’t drink the lemonade – that’s quite a bit of sugar for 9:45 a.m., after all. Once all the donations were counted, PLC had raised $3,193.35 for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a national childhood cancer foundation dedicated to raising funds for research into new treatments and cures for all children battling cancer.

“Childhood cancer is something very important to our community,” Coyne said. “We want our children to understand the importance of supporting the research, and what we raised today will go a long way in helping those efforts. I’m pretty sure we raised enough to fund an entire week of research, which is amazing.”

According to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation website, $2,000 is needed to fund a week of research, meaning PLC raised enough to fund at least 10 days’ worth of research.

Of course, to add a little twist and drive donations, Coyne offered incentives. With the PLC building divided into east and west wings, the one that raised the most money received either extra recess or in-class game time along with a pizza or dessert party of some sort. Which wing won was kept confidential.

“All the students did a wonderful job of raising money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand,” Coyne said. “And the whole event was very well received by our staff, the students and their parents. It was great to see so many people here today, to cheer on the students and, of course, contribute to our cause.”

— David Biggy


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