In the Adams family, giving is a way of life that began for Alex and Cassie in 2002 when they were seven and five. That was the year the girls lost their mom, Elise Adams, to breast cancer when she was just 39 years old.
Soon, the little girls set up a lemonade stand. The profits didn’t go into their piggy banks. Alex and Cassie, now 15 and 13 respectively, donated their earnings to the Alberta Cancer Foundation for Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute.
The rest of the family got in on the fundraising efforts. The girls’ dad, Bob, is a partner in seven Boston Pizza franchises in the city and he sits on the committee for the annual Boston Pizza Charity Classic, which benefits the Cross Cancer Institute, through the Alberta Cancer Foundation. He has since remarried and the girls’ step-mom Kate Gallagher, an event planner, supports him as well.
Bob’s mother, Barb Adams, put her hobby of watercolour painting to work, creating hand-made greeting cards that sell for $4 each. Her granddaughters help out with the cards and they’ve raised about $3,000 from sales. Bob’s father, Pete, is chair of the Cross Cancer Institute Golf Classic committee. This year, the tournament at The Derrick Club in Edmonton raised more than $830,000.
Combined, these efforts allow the Adams to honour Elise’s memory and to take control over the disease that took someone very dear away from them. “We feel that this disease has to be stopped somehow,” says Barb. “Also, we have two young girls coming up whose mommy had cancer. We want to make things better for them.”
Click on images to zoom. Paintings by Barbara Adams: All proceeds to the Cross Cancer Institute.