If you’ve been looking at the automotive section this month (if you’re reading this you likely have been), you’ve noticed something unusual about Lee Volvo’s ads. The long-time Wellesley Volvo dealership has been advertising lemons.
The advertisement, instead of featuring a Volvo model, says Lee Volvo will donate $100 for every car sold this month (new or used) to Alex’s Lemonade Stand. And one of those stands is prominent in the dealership’s showroom.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is the legacy of a pediatric cancer patient named Alexandra “Alex’’ Scott, who started a lemonade stand in 2000 to help raise money for “her hospital.’’
She raised an astonishing $2,000, but that was only the beginning.
Alex inspired others to sell lemonade and donate to the cause, raising that total to $45,000 and earning a “Volvo for Life’’ nomination in a program that honored hometown heroes doing extraordinary things in their communities.
She won a Volvo for Life Award at the 2003 ceremony and in 2004 she set a goal of raising $1 million by year’s end.
When she died at age 8 on August 1, 2004, she not only had generated more than $700,000 but also had a promise from Volvo to help her reach that $1 million goal. To reach it, Volvo employees at dealerships nationwide helped sell lemonade for Alex. It began a relationship that continues today.
“In the past we’ve sponsored raffle tickets, but this year we decided to change our print advertising for a month, emphasizing the ad for Alex’s Lemonade Stand,’’ says Lee Volvo General Manager Wesley Vickers.
One of Vickers’ questions was whether any of the donated research dollars would come back to the New England area. Alex Scott had been born in Manchester, Conn., but the family moved to Pennsylvania near her treatment center – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
He needn’t have fretted. To date, ASLF has distributed more than $55 million for 250 cutting-edge cancer research projects nationwide.
“I’m hoping that more people will find this a good month to buy a car,’’ says Vickers, who believes in the Volvo brand and its history of safety innovations as strongly as he does the ALSF cause.