Planning a wedding brings with it an endless list of decisions that directly impact that special day. For Patrick Martinez and Jamie Casey, the choice of what favor to give their guests to commemorate their wedding presented an opportunity to have an impact. Instead of giving gifts to attendees, the couple is giving back, and encouraging invitees to do the same.
Guests at the Martinez wedding will be asked to support the couple's commitment to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for all kids with cancer. The couple has committed $1,000 in lieu of wedding favors.
Patrick Martinez first heard about Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation through his position as financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual -- The Kelley Financial Group located in Cincinnati. Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, supports Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation as one of its national nonprofits in conjunction with its Childhood Cancer Program.
The Childhood Cancer Program launched last year in response to a lack of support for pediatric cancer research and services. Northwestern Mutual's program raises awareness and money to fight the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15.
"Our wedding will be a celebration of love, and a symbol of hope and inspiration," said Martinez. "Jamie and I want families affected by pediatric cancer to find comfort in knowing that we, our guests and Northwestern Mutual care about their well-being. The donations from this wedding will make a significant difference in the lives of these families and hopefully inspire others to give."
As their favors, the couple will have postcards complete with lemonade packets and straws at each reception table where guests can either scan a QR code or visit the wedding's donation page to pledge their support.
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation began in 2000 by 4-year-old cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004), who held a front yard lemonade stand, donating proceeds to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Though Alex would lose her life to the disease, the Foundation bearing her name has continued her mission to find a cure, having raised more than $60 million and funded more than 300 research projects.
"Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation is honored that Patrick and Jamie have chosen to highlight our organization at their wedding," said Liz Scott, Alex's mom and co-executive director, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. "Through the support of individuals like Patrick and Jamie, it is our hope that one day all children with cancer will have the opportunity to grow up and experience their own wedding. We wish Patrick and Jamie the best for their future."
The Martinez wedding will take place July 13, 2013 in Oak Brook, Ill. The couple's goal is to raise $5,000 for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. To donate, visit: http://u.nm.com/ALPJ.