After my brother Shane passed in 2015, I asked my parents if we could hold a lemonade stand down by the shore in honor of him. Shane always loved the beach and we spent a lot of our time as a family there. Shane’s doctors and nurses knew how much we liked it there and how important it was for Shane. They would do all they could to break Shane out of the hospital to head to the shore. (My mom told me it’s a New Jersey thing to call the beach the shore.)
My grandparents have a shore house in Ventnor, NJ and there is a local center, the Ventnor Cultural Arts Center, that holds an annual craft fair. My grandmother talked to the director of the fair, Ms. Susan, and she said we could hold the lemonade stand there. Every year, she gives us the same spot, next to where people who go to the beach pay for parking. It’s perfect because of how much foot traffic we get. Ms. Susan never charges us to hold the stand and we really appreciate it.
My parents helped me a lot the first year with setting up and having signs from our foundation, Shane’s Future Days. We started Shane’s Future Days after Shane’s passing as a way to honor his life and legacy by supporting cancer research projects like those being done at cc-TDI. That first summer we raised a decent amount, maybe $300. It was scary to talk to people and tell them why I was doing it. That’s where my sister Ella came in. She was so outgoing and attracted attention with her sass. So, the next year I added her name since she was such a huge help.
Over the years, the success of the stand has grown. I have gone to local businesses with flyers and asked for them to hang them in their business trying to advertise. Our neighbors down the shore have been very supportive and without the community’s support, we couldn’t have grown as much as we have. Since 2015, Ella and I have raised over $7,000, which we have donated to childhood cancer research.
Ella describes her motivation for continuing the stand in Shane’s honor. “It feels so good to see the bucket get filled. It’s a visual of how much people care, even if they don’t know us. I enjoy serving the people and gaining experience talking to people. I guess it’s learning real life skills. I think I’ll take over the stand with my younger siblings Will and Chloe once Chase goes to college, but I hope it’s something we can always do as a family.”
This is our piece to give back to Shane. We can help our parents at Shane’s Future Days events, but this is what we can do on our own to make a difference…well with a little help! It will remain our siblings fundraiser each year. – Chase Metzgar
Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to Chase and Ella for their hard work and continued dedication to childhood research in memory of Shane. What a remarkable way to recognize his life and legacy. Thank you so much!