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Youngsters fashion enterprise to help finance fight against cancer

Kara Wilcox and a handful of other children in the Pendale subdivision were sitting around a kitchen table one day in 2008, trying to figure out how to fill some of their idle time on lazy afternoons while school was closed for the summer.

Like children everywhere, they decided to have a lemonade stand.

"Can we donate the money from the stand to cancer research?" Kara asked. She was 9 years old at the time. Her mother, Diane Wilcox, died three months later of breast cancer.

Then and there, the lemonade-stand project became an annual event to raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. Since then, it has broadened to include hand-made jewelry, book marks, dog treats, gift certificates and raffle baskets donated by local businesses.

This year's fourth annual sale will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Pendale Drive and Terri Lane, off Tonawanda Creek Road North, near Campbell Boulevard. If Sunday's weather forecast is really bad, the sale will be held Saturday.

Eden Geraci, another girl in the group, lost her father to multiple myeloma. "Mom," she said, "I feel like I can make a difference even though I'm just a kid. I hope that someone who is suffering from cancer in the hospital sees this and will feel better."

Eden is 11 years old.

Eden's mother, Julie Geraci, and her aunt, Liz Rittling, are the group's unofficial adult advisers.

"The girls put a ton of work into preparing for the sale every year," Eden's mother said. "Each year, we have been able to raise more money than the year before. The total for 2010 was $623. Our Pendale subdivision is filled with caring families that never fail to come out and support each other."

This year's sale is dedicated to the memory Kara's mother.

Besides Kara and Eden, neighborhood children working on the project are Emma Geraci, 9; Molly Walker, 14; Emily Miller, 13, and Zachary Miller, 10.