WESTWOOD (CBSLA) — Eighteen years ago, the idea started when a little 4-year-old girl battling cancer decided to start a lemonade stand in Connecticut to help raise money for her friends in the hospital.
Celebrating that move has become something of a summer tradition in Los Angeles.
Alexandra “Alex” Scott would be amazed at what happened to her little idea. It’s become a phenomenon.
“The idea that she could do something to help other kids that she met at the hospital I think is what inspired her,” says her mother, Liz.
It’s become an annual event — a star-studded one, to boot — and features culinary delights from chefs around the country.
CBS2’s Greg Mills explains that a donation of $195 gets you inside the very large and impressive buffet. Today’s event was held on the UCLA campus in Westwood.
He spoke to stars, chefs and those impressed at how the little event has grown in size and scope and importance.
“This is the most beautiful charity. And the the events that Alex’s Lemonade does is so life-affirming,” says “Criminal Minds” star Kirsten Vangsness.
That’s why stars from her show and “NCIS” and other shows are happy to attend.
Did we mention award-winning chefs put out their food? There were more then 50 chefs and 15 mixologists taking part.
“Makes me feel good that I’m part of a community. A community of chefs whose talent is able to help raise money for a really important charity,” says Nancy Silverton of Mozza.
She wasn’t the only well-known chef — other names like Giada DeLaurentiis, Sherry Yard, David LeFevre. Jonathan Waxman, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (names you often hear on Food Network) also take part.
It’s a foodie fiesta. The food, all specially-prepared, is set out in a grab-and-go style.
And fans like what they get to try.
“This is tuna, stuffed pepper with white beans. It was sensational,” marveled Lindsay Bergersachs,
CBS2/KCAL9 is a media sponsor of the event.
CBS2 Anchor Pat Harvey was the event emcee and honored again to take part. Especially because researchers say fundraisers like this are getting them closer to unlocking the secrets of cancer.
“We’re getting some kind of headway. The fact that we are? You don’t need any more reason than that, right? That’s the biggest reason of all,” Harvey says.
Alex, sadly, didn’t live long enough to see her idea inspire so many. She died when she was 8.
“I think Alex would say thank you,” said her mother. “Thank you to everybody for helping kids like her.”
Through tears, Alex’s mom said her daughter would have turned 22 this year and be graduating from college.
For more, visit the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation website.