News & Stories

A Dream Come True: Lemonade Stand Raises Funds for Patient In Need Fund at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try,” said John F. Kennedy

Sam Tull 2Eight-year old Samantha (Sam) Tull from Croydon, PA, had a dream one night that she had found a way to help people with cancer. She woke up, asked for her mother’s permission and started planning a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer.

By the end of the summer, Sam’s stand had raised over $1,700 for the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.

Like many families, Sam’s family has been touched by cancer and MD Anderson Cooper has been there to help. “Sam spends a lot of time with her cousins in the summer and through their grandmother’s experience, she has witnessed first-hand the effects of cancer,” said her mother, Crystal.

Sam and her mom decided that the money she raised would go to Cooper. An Internet search led them to The Cooper Foundation’s patient-in-need fund, which provides small grants to cancer patients for assistance with transportation, child care, prescriptions and more. “We thought this was a place where Sam’s fundraising could make a difference,” said Crystal.

Once a week for four to five weeks in July and August, Sam set up her stand in front of the family home. A large glass of lemonade and lemonade popsicles sold for $1 and a small glass of lemonade sold for 50 cents. Each week, her dad would post an announcement on both the town and her school’s Facebook pages. It quickly gained the attention of the community.

First the fire company reached out; they wanted to give Sam the proceeds from a recent fundraiser. They visited her stand, presented her with a check and bought lemonade. They then invited her to sell lemonade at the fire station to a great response. She also received a letter and a donation from a man in town whose wife was battling cancer, was invited to set up her stand at her dance studio’s open house and this fall will return to the fire house to sell lemonade at their open house.

“I was happy and very surprised,” said Sam. “My tiny stand grew to be super big.”

On August 30th, Sam, her mom, dad and brother came to Cooper and presented a check for $1,785.55 to Dr. Generosa Grana, an oncologist and director of the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, and Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation.

We at Cooper are incredibly grateful that her dream came true.