This year, MD Anderson’s Pediatric Education and Creative Arts Unit joined forces with Southwest Airlines Houston Employees to prepare young entrepreneurs to hold a successful Pediatric “Lemonade Day!” This creative and fun program was the idea of MD Anderson’s art teacher, Mindy LeBoeuf, as a way to collaborate art and academic instruction in hospital classrooms.
Her creative idea, “When life gave me Lemons, I made lemonade,” fulfilled the need to provide an interactive experience for children undergoing treatment at MD Anderson. The program combines business lessons (provided by Southwest Airlines Marketing) with art, math, measurement, and graphing, which are skills needed to run a successful business or in this case a successful “Lemonade Day.” The activities began April 30 and concluded May 4 with Pediatric participants doing all planning, ordering, designing advertisements, and, finally, serving the product:Lemonade. To round out the fun day, Shrinky Dinks were made on site and given to lemonade “Customers.”
Below are a few recollections from both the MD Anderson and Southwest Volunteers who collaborated with these young entrepreneurs:
“This year’s Pediatric “Lemonade Day “was a big hit! Southwest Employee Volunteers and MD Anderson staff joined together to make lemonade and work alongside the children to hand out the drinks and pass out other trinkets and toys I loved being at the hospital, meeting these amazing children, and having a fun day surrounded by those who make a positive difference each and every day.” – Shannica Joshua, MD Anderson
“Our pediatric patients were able to apply what they learned in the classroom to a real event and enjoyed passing out lemonade to hospital patients, families, and guests. I was particularly impressed at the way the children jumped right in, took charge of their lemonade stand, and made it a success with their energy and smiles. The “lemons to lemonade” stories that were shared by people who visited our lemonade stand were touching and showed that even in the face of huge obstacles, people are able to find reasons to stay positive and persevere.” - Melinda LeBoeuf, MD Anderson
“Who doesn’t LUV Shrinky Dinks?! I had a BLAST getting to revisit my youth and sharing lots of silliness with the patients and parents during the MD Anderson Lemonade Day. We shared lots of laughs as we witnessed artistry in the making! Parents and children had a great time creating one-of-a-kind works of art – and then we got to watch ‘em shrink in the pint-sized toaster oven! BONUS!! I wish the event lasted longer – I found the time went by all too quickly! Looking forward to my next adventure. I still have a smile on my face from my experience. LUV those children!” - Hilary McHenry, MD Anderson
“I volunteered with the MD Anderson Lemonade Stand and it was so much fun to work with those wonderful children and great staff.” - Jynell Holiday, Southwest Airlines
“We had a great day! Southwest was represented in our usual stand-out fashion! This is a cause close to my heart…due to many close encounters with cancer amongst my family and friends who were treated at MD Anderson. I am very passionate about this cause and enjoyed the day!” - De Lyce Schlepphorst, Southwest Airlines
“I had a blast volunteering at MD Anderson. It was a pleasure giving back to the community. I am always amenable to help out. So, thank you for the opportunity. “ -
Alicia Fletcher, Southwest Airlines
Southwest applauds the MD Anderson mission and “Core Values” of Caring, Integrity and Discovery as outlined by the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, to “Make Cancer History”.
Let’s lift our cups to these young entrepreneurs and share another round of lemonade – and make it pink, please, for these courageous and spirited children!