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St. Pete childhood cancer survivor bringing back lemonade stand fundraiser in-person

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A lemonade stand run by two sisters to help the fight against childhood cancer is returning in person in St. Petersburg this year.

C&C Lemonade Factory, run by cancer survivor Caroline Gallagher, 8, and her sister Charlotte, 6, will have its sixth annual event on June 4 at their home, located on Dartmouth Avenue in St. Petersburg, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Caroline was diagnosed with leukemia at 18-months-old. Six months later, her 2-year-old cousin, Julia, was also diagnosed. After over 2 1/2 years of treatment, Caroline is in remission, but Julia lost her fight.

The Gallagher girls are committed to making a difference by honoring their cousin’s fight and supporting other kids fighting cancer.

C&C Lemonade Factory is an idea Caroline had in the summer of 2017 to raise money to buy toys for her friends still in the hospital.

That year, she raised $54. The next, she raised over $800. With national attention in 2018, the Gallagher family raised over $13,000, with donations from multiple states and countries.

The fundraiser was held virtually in 2020, due to the pandemic, and raised $20,000. In 2021, a drive-by live-streamed event was held, which raised over $8,000.

This year, the girls have a goal of $20,022. All proceeds will benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Seeing people donate in person and try some of their lemonade is something both sisters are excited about.

“I’m going to be selling lemonade and it’s to help raise money for childhood cancer,” Caroline explained. “’Cause when I was little, I had cancer and it took a lot of medicine for me to get better.” 

“We make lemonade to raise money for the other people who are sick and then we give it to the doctors!” said Charlotte, who wants potential donors to know the lemonade is sweet, and making it is her favorite part of the fundraiser.

Their mom, Danielle Gallagher, said it means the world to be able to give back after what the family has been through.

“I mean, we had a really rough go of it for a couple years. Luckily, Caroline is in remission now. Our family has seen firsthand how it can turn out with Caroline, and then our niece Julia passed away from cancer at the age of 3,” she said. “So we know it can, it does, affect families for life and so if this is a little thing we can do once a year to sort of give back to the people who have helped us and continue to help us and support other families, I mean, it’s the least we can do.”

Dad Charles is also thrilled for the event to be returning to normal. He said part of the entire fundraiser is the feeling of community.

“Getting people out here in person, being able to be with people and have experiences at the event. We’re trying to do more this year as far as just having a lemonade stand. So it’s a really, really significant factor having it back in person,” he said.

Outside of just the lemonade stand at their St. Petersburg home on June 4, C&C Lemonade Factory will have face painting, balloon animals, an appearance from the Rowdies pelican, and other special guests.

Anyone who donates will be entered into raffles for things like Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Rowdies tickets, collectibles from the Rowdies, Kendra Scott jewelry and more.

The family will be holding a pop-up lemonade stand at the Rowdies game on June 4 at Al Lang Stadium.

Lane’s Lemonade in Dunedin will hold a lemonade stand fundraiser at their location in Dunedin, also on June 4, donating a portion of their sales to C&C Lemonade Factory’s cause.

Prior to the big event, Caroline, Charlotte and their parents will host another pop-up lemonade stand on May 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Big Storm Brewing. The brewery is creating a special edition key lime/lemonade radler in support.

“And we’ll have these pop-ups other places, too. We’ll have one again at Kendra Scott coming up in the fall most likely, but we try to have things on the order of every month or so,” Charles said.

“And Caroline celebrates 5 years in remission this October, so stay tuned for our October event, it’s going to be a big one,” Danielle added.

The family estimates they’ve raised around $60,000 in the past 6 years.

Lemonade Days is a national event every June, where volunteers host over 2,000 lemonade stands around the nation. You can follow along with C&C Lemonade Factory for updates on this event and future fundraisers on their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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