Sour faces equal sweet success for Angelman
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | August 7, 2015
Local children and parents had people sucking on lemons and enjoying lemonade for a cause they're very passionate about.
"The challenge is to bring awareness to AS [Angelman Syndrome]," wrote Bethan McCutcheon in an email.
The McCutcheons hosted a lemonade stand at their home in Moore Falls on Aug. 1. The proceeds from the event will go to the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST).
The cause is important to Bethan and her husband Sean, parents to Tecwyn, 11, and Tathan, 10, both of whom have AS.
"This is super fun," she said on the morning of the event.
The AS Lemonade Stand Initiative took off and gained international exposure when Na'ama Uzan challenged kids across the world to host their own stand to help find a cure for AS. In April, the five-year-old Toronto girl became a household name after raising $25,000 by selling lemonade to help her brother who has AS.
The McCutcheons got on board when Tecwyn and Tathan were issued a challenge by three siblings with AS who live in California.
"So you suck on a lemon, have a laugh while someone captures the moment and you post the pic on social media then challenge someone else," explained Bethan.
Classmates of the boys and their parents helped run the stand, which ran from 9 a.m. to noon.
"The support of Tecwyn and Tathan's peer group is so strong," said Bethan, pointing out that she benefits by meeting other moms. "It's just a win-win."
According to the Canadian Angelman Syndrome Society, AS is a neurogenetic disorder characterized by intellectual and developmental delay, sleep disturbance, seizures, jerky movements, frequent laughter or smiling, and usually a happy demeanor.
The McCutcheons weren't the only ones taking part in the challenge on Saturday. Sue and Justin Tiffin, also parents to a child with the rare disorder, set up a stand at the Haliburton County Farmers' Market in Minden.
"At the Farmers' Market we were grateful for our neighbours who helped us set up, and for the general camaraderie of the people there," wrote Sue in an email. "We were there for one day only but did love the experience."
Their stands raised nearly $725 combined.
Another lemonade stand fundraiser will be held at Yummy Mummy Emporium, located at 168 Bobcaygeon Road in Minden, on Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The local business has pledged to donate 10 per cent of all lemon-coloured items sales (clothing, leg warmers, creams, etc.) to FAST.
According to parent Kim Switzer, members of the Dysart volunteer fire department accepted the suck on a lemon challenge during the McCutcheons' fundraiser. As a result, Switzer is challenging the local OPP, EMS and members of council to do the same this coming Saturday.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.