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Family event at Cranberry amusement park to benefit pediatric cancer research

Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Lori Silvester with her children, Harrison and Kate, will be hosting the 5th annual community Alex's Lemonade Stand in an effort to raise money for cancer research.

By Christina Gallagher
Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Carnival rides, arcade games and freshly squeezed lemonade will let kids battling pediatric cancer just be kids on a summer afternoon.

For the fifth year, the Silvester family has organized a communitywide Alex's Lemonade Stand at a Cranberry amusement park to benefit pediatric cancer research.

The event has raised about $50,000 for cancer research since it began in 2009, said Lori Silvester, 43, of Cranberry.

The goal this year is to raise $25,000.

On June 8, pediatric cancer patients, survivors and their families will enjoy a day of fun at the Fun Fore All amusement park on Progress Avenue.

Kate Silvester, 13, and family decided to organize an Alex's Lemonade Stand because two family friends died from pediatric cancer.

Rehanna Lydon of Renfrew died at age 11 in 2011 and Henry Scheck of Maryland died in 2009, at age 4.

“I knew how Rehanna felt when she had cancer and I don't want other kids to feel that way,” Silvester said.

“I thought having a stand, in general, would help them.”

Kate spent nearly every day at Rehanna's side when she was hospitalized, she said.

Now, Kate looks forward to seeing other children, such as Kaelyn Thimons, forget about cancer treatments by getting their faces painted and posing for photos with the Pirate Parrot.

Thimons, 12, a sixth-grade student at St. Kilian Parish, has Ewing's sarcoma, which is a treatable form of bone cancer. She is the event's honorary hostess.

While kids are playing miniature golf, the Silvester family and volunteers will sell lemonade to raise money for the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a Wynnewood, Montgomery County-based organization aimed at eradicating childhood cancer through research.

Since 2005, the foundation has raised $60 million for cancer research through thousands lemonade stands each year nationwide.

The foundation ranks the Cranberry event among the top 100 of Alex's Lemonade Stand fundraisers, earning it the designation of being a “grand stand” because many Cranberry community members are involved.

Christina Gallagher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5637 or

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