While many kids were playing video games this summer, nine-year-old Chloe Cundiff was pounding the pavement for ovarian cancer research.
The pint-sized entrepreneur was busy setting up her lemonade stand at The Henry, The Sparkle Bar, TGen, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, and Hines.
That’s because, when Chloe was about six years old, she lost her grandmother to ovarian cancer. Her life has never been the same. “Gigi” was Chloe’s best friend, and is now the inspiration behind Chloe’s lemonade stand.
Chloe’s mom and dad started a nonprofit organization called Colleen’s Dream Foundation after “Gigi” died to raise money for ovarian cancer research. Colleen’s Dream Foundation was established as a legacy to Chloe’s grandmother, Colleen Drury, who passed away from ovarian cancer. So when given the opportunity to have a lemonade stand to do some fundraising, Chloe decided from the beginning that she would donate 100% of her profits to Colleen’s Dream Foundation.
Little did Chloe know at the time that all of the hard work she put into her lemonade stand, for a cause so close to her heart, would result in collecting $9,438 for ovarian cancer research. She also never expected one customer to give her $1,000, and another one to give her $700.
If you ask Chloe about her efforts, she’ll tell you that it wasn’t easy, but it was an amazing opportunity, and she thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “I learned so many things from my lemonade journey,” she said. “The best thing I learned was how to talk to new and interesting people, and build my confidence in public speaking. I met some very nice and generous people on my journey, but I also set many lofty goals and strived to achieve them. It was very fun, and I am thankful that so many of my friends joined me to help me raise money for ovarian cancer research!”
All of the funds that Chloe raised through her stand will be given to Colleen’s Dream Foundation, which will, in turn, be donated to TGen to further research for early detection of ovarian cancer.
Chloe is the grand-prize winner of the “Take a Lemonade Stand” program, which donated 100 lemonade stands to Arizona kids this summer to teach them entrepreneurial skills and instill a spirit of community giving. Eight-year-old Peytynn Gomez of Flagstaff is the second-place winner, having raised $3,257 for Mountain Charter School of Flagstaff through her lemonade stand. And nine-year-old Makayla Aiello is the third-place winner, having raised $1,397 for the Melonhead Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the needs of children with cancer and their families. While only required to donate half of their lemonade stand proceeds, the three top placers all decided to give 100 percent of their proceeds to their chosen school or nonprofit. The three winners were honored for their accomplishments at a special event on Thursday, Oct. 26.
In addition to the satisfaction of giving back to worthwhile causes, Chloe received suite tickets and VIP parking passes to an Arizona Cardinals’ home game, along with VIP tickets and parking passes to two Arizona Coyotes’ home games. Peytynn received a Microsoft Surface Pro, and Makayla received an Apple iPhone 8. As well, their respective organizations also received a signage package from bluemedia (valued at $1,000) and a public relations package from Duality PR (valued at $1,000).
“We are incredibly proud of the 100 kidpreneurs who participated in this inaugural program,” said Kristy Jozwiak and Angela Menninger, Co-Founders of Duality PR, which is one of the most successful boutique PR agencies in Phoenix. “When we introduced the program, we knew it would be exciting, but we had no idea how significant of an impact it would make on such a wide range of children, nonprofits and schools throughout Arizona.”
The 100 kidpreneurs who were living the #LemonadeLife sold lemonade from the first day of summer (June 21) through Oct. 1, from their custom-fabricated stands donated by bluemedia.
“It’s amazing to see kids like Chloe embrace community stewardship and exhibit incredible entrepreneurial spirit at such a young age,” said Darren Wilson, president of bluemedia. “As a company, we’ve been passionate about giving back to charitable programs that support kids and entrepreneurs, so seeing this next generation of kids carry the torch is especially inspiring.”
Chloe was so inspired from her experience selling lemonade this summer that she’s now started a cookie business. She’s been selling cookies by the dozen, and recently made business cards to support her endeavor.