Unfortunately, my family has come face to face with the evil that is cancer more times than we'd like to remember. Because of that, we participate in some annual fundraisers to battle cancer.
For the past few years my mom has been in charge of organizing a team of volunteers to run Alex's Lemonade Stand at a local Hy-Vee. If you haven't read about Alex and her fundraiser, click here. It began when a selfless little girl (Alex), who was battling her own caner, decided to raise money to fight childhood cancer. It has since become a national campaign.
My cousin Andrea helped us this year. She's quite the sales person! I just pour the lemonade.
We always have a good time!
Our other cancer cause is Relay for Life. This one is intensely personal. My cousin Craig died of an abdominal cancer when he was in his 20's. I was young enough that I only remember him from pictures. His mom (my Aunt Sherlee) raised money for Relay for Life in Craig's honor by selling her homemade cinnamon rolls.
In March of 2005, my Aunt Sherlee died of a rare brain cancer. That summer we carried on her tradition by making her cinnamon rolls and selling them at the Bates County Relay for Life in honor of both her and Craig. My Aunt Sherlee was pretty much superwoman, so it was quite the feat to figure out her recipe and make cinnamon rolls that could even come close to being as good as hers. But if anyone was up for the challenge, it was my mom!
The following year in March of 2006, my Aunt Janet died of colon cancer. (Aunt Sherlee and Aunt Janet were both my mom's sisters. Can you imagine losing two of your sisters within a year of each other?)
Since then we have honored their memories through cinnamon rolls. That sounds kind of funny, but every time I bake those cinnamon rolls (from scratch!), I can't help but be flooded by memories of my aunts. I am thankful for the opportunity honor them!
The Bates County Relay for Life is in Butler, MO which is about an hour south of KC. And it is the country. Seriously. They have a stoplight. It's a lot different from the city limits of Kansas City, but it's always a great time and so fun to see my family!
My mom and I spent the WHOLE day baking 20 pans of made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls.
The fruits of our labor....
My cousin Lisa and my mom. Lisa is Craig's sister and my Aunt Sherlee's daughter.
Selling cinnamon rolls!
As sad as the memories are of losing two of the people I loved most in the world, I am honored to participate in these charities. And if you've never experienced Aunt Sherlee's homemade cinnamon rolls....holy moly you are missing out!!