With the Triple Crown season just behind us, it begs the question: Whatever happened to Afleet Alex? He might not have won the 2005 Kentucky Derby—that honor went to Giacomo—but he finished third there and then went on to win both the Preakness and the Belmont in fine fashion. Though he was retired to a comfortable life of stud duty in Kentucky, the handsome bay stallion has perhaps a more commendable legacy. Afleet Alex and his human partners helped to promote Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a grassroots charity that raises funds to combat childhood cancers.
The nonprofit organization was named for Philadelphia youngster Alexandra Scott (1996-2004) who succumbed to cancer, but not before she’d started a nationwide movement by setting up a lemonade stand in her neighborhood to help raise money for other kids stricken with the disease.
Afleet Alex, partially because of his name but mostly because his owners were struck by the heart of the girl, became forever linked to the lemonade endeavor. In fact, even today there’s a link to Alex’s Lemonade Stand on the stallion’s website.
So, what can you do in honor of a champion race horse and a gallant girl? The weekend of June 8-10 has been set aside to specifically raise money for the cause through a league of lemonade stands. “Curing cancer one cup at a time” is the motto, and whether you’re a horse lover or a lemonade lover, you and your barn buddies can accomplish wonders with a pitcher, some paper cups and a mixture of lemons and sugar water. Is the weekend a busy day for lessons at your barn? Are you already volunteering at a horse show? Do you want to host a tack swap or a trail ride? You might be surprised how much money you can raise when offering cool lemonade to some thirsty, dusty riders!
The non-profit charity has already awarded $10 million in grants to researchers and support staff at facilities working on childhood cancers. It’s something that you can do in the never-ending race against a formidable disease. For more information on donating to the cause or starting your own lemonade stand, visit www.alexslemonade.org.