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When life gives you lemons…

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Over a dozen children and teens that comprise the “Lemonade Pals” recently flagged down cars, joggers and bicyclists asking them to take a breather from a busy Saturday to help babies breathe easier.

As a result, two lemonade stands in the Wellington subdivision of Flower Mound brought in $3,536 for the Northeast Texas Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the 2011 North Texas Wine Opener on April 9, 2011.

“The incredible outpouring of support demonstrates the childlike optimism reflected in our motto: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade for CF,” said Flower Mound resident Lisa Burdick, who has organized and staffed the lemonade stands for four years with friend Wendy Weems.

“It’s a great sight to see kids helping kids; we even had one little boy come back three times with his piggy bank money. We saw teachers and classmates show up to support their friends, and then stay to help, even though they didn’t know much about CF. This is truly inspirational for me every year and I am so excited to stand back and watch its success.”

The Flower Mound, Lewisville, Double Oak and Highland Village communities have raised the fundraising bar supporting this grassroots effort, by kids and for kids, to make a difference in the lives of neighbors living with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening disease that attacks the lungs and digestive system.

Flower Mound resident Nicole Bauer happened to be driving by with her 13-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, when they saw the signs.

“The twins’ brother and my firstborn son has cystic fibrosis and he’s always telling me that everyone knows about cancer, autism or other diseases, but no one is aware of CF,” said Bauer.

“My daughter spotted the signs and I hit the brakes. When we got home and told Philipp about it, he said, ‘finally, someone who cares about CF.’”

Philipp, who attends Flower Mound High School, later rode his bike to the corner lemonade stand and gave his donation. Burdick says that as he was leaving, the kids chanted, ‘They will find a cure, they will find a cure.’ His words back to us were, ‘I hope.’”

One of the Wine Opener chairs, Nita Jones has a 6th grader with CF and is hoping, too.

“Matthew is doing very well today, but it’s my dream and his that we find a cure in his lifetime,” she said. “Volunteers like the children who sold lemonade this weekend help the CFF identify the underlying cause of CF, and I believe we are getting closer to the game-changing breakthrough we’ve been praying for.”

The women organizing Lemonade Pals say they wanted to meet or exceed the last fundraiser’s goal of $1500, and knew they’d need to go viral to reach out-of-town family members and friends.

Weems and Burdick used PayPal, mass emails and Facebook postings to raise awareness. Their children took flyers to school where teachers posted them on bulletin boards and even invited the kids to share a little about the cause.

“The outpouring of support has been incredible,” says Weems.  “It just opens my eyes to how much more we can do.”

For tickets to the North Texas Wine Opener or information on sponsorship opportunities, call the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Northeast Texas at 214-871-2222 or visit www.cfwineopener.org. This event is open to the community; however, tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance for $150 each – $115 of that amount is tax deductible.

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