Hot Afternoon, Icy Lemonade, and a Good Cause

Alex's Lemonade Stand

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Last Saturday afternoon, temperatures soared into the high 80s throughout the Delaware Valley, but it felt even hotter out on West Chester Pike in Upper Darby.

But the heat evidently didn’t bother many of the volunteers who turned out to help the Philadelphia Rose of Tralee Centre support pediatric cancer research with a spectacular (and very yellow) Alex’s Lemonade Stand at the Irish Immigration and Pastoral Center at West Chester Pike and Cedar Lane. Even Sarah Conaghan, managing director of the Mid-Atlantic Rose of Tralee Centre, was a study in bright lemony yellow, right down to her necklace—which looked like a string of miniature lemons.

The volunteers included many of the Delaware Valley’s best and brightest young Irish-American women—including 2009 Rose Jocelyn McGillian, the Donegal Association’s 2010 Mary from Dungloe Kiera McDonagh, 2009 Mary from Dungloe Emily Weideman, 2008 Miss Mayo and 2010 Mid-Atlantic Rose finalist Colleen Mullarkey , and Jessica Greene, also a Mid-Atlantic Rose finalist.

(And if I’ve left anyone out, one or more of these women will let us know.)

Also among the volunteers: a wildly enthusiastic collection of Rosebuds, the younger girls who serve as a kind of honor guard. While the rest of us, wilting, sought refuge in the immigration center’s air conditioning, they hung around outside and drew posters, poured cups of lemonade, blew bubbles, made multicolor pipe-cleaner crowns (my favorite: the one that spelled out “H E L P.”), applied little lemon tattoos to their faces, and ran up and down the block below the immigration center yelling at the very top of their lungs for passing drivers to pull over right that very moment (“I KNOW YOU SEEEEEEEEEEE MEEEEEEE!!!!!!”) and buy a big cup of lemonade for cancer research.

Not so surprisingly, this high-pressure salesmanship often worked. They are Rosebuds—hear them roar.

Between the lemonade stand and online donations, the Rose of Tralee raked in close to $700—not a bad little haul.

Click on the photo above to see the whole photo essay.

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