Lesleigh Helders (left) assists daughter Nancie Helders with her pink lemonade stand to fund cancer research. (courtesy photo)
Teen sells lemonade to help fight cancer
Those viewing the annual Scripps Ranch Fourth of July Parade who have passed near where Ironwood Road and Corridor Street meet have seen a youngster selling pink lemonade for the past seven years. That youngster is Nancie Helders and her lemonade stand is special because she sells the cool drink to raise funds for cancer research.
“It all started back in 2011 when my mom was doing the Susan G. Komen Walk for her mother,” Nancie said, referring to the popular fundraising event to end breast cancer. “I wanted to support my mother, so I did a pink lemonade stand on the Fourth of July to raise money for the walk. And I did it the year after … and I kept doing it again and again to raise more money for cancer research in all shapes and forms.”
Both of her parents have battled cancer, and Nancie has raised funds for research for all kinds of cancer research including leukemia and testicular cancer. She has donated the funds to the American Cancer Society the past two years.
Now a senior at Scripps Ranch High School, Nancie is a Girl Scout, enjoys creating art and looks forward to studying biology in college. But she started her annual fundraising project way back when she was only a 10-year-old.
“I wanted to somehow support my mother on the 3-Day Walk because she was doing it for her mother, and so I wanted to support them both by raising money and donating it,” she explained.
“Nancie saw me doing that and she wanted to help, but she was too young to walk,” said Lesliegh Helders, Nancie’s mother. “So, this was a way she could help as well. She has chosen to do this each year … She’s been right there at the same location for the past seven years selling lemonade. … It warmed my heart and it still does.”
This year Nancie raised $360 through her efforts. Most of her customers donate more than the cost of the drink. One year a customer donated $100.
“Everyone’s been so nice,” she said.
Nancie plans to operate her stand on July 4 next summer and enjoy the experience for a good cause one more time before she heads to college in 2019.