Local Students ‘Taking Action’

BERLIN – In an area well known for its charitable fundraising and public service, a handful of some of the youngest members of the community, a group of young children known as Kids Taking Action, are continuing to make a difference with a new effort slated for tomorrow more personal than their previous endeavors.

Kids Taking Action, a group of area school children who first rallied for a cause four years ago in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the south along the Gulf of Mexico, will hold its latest fundraising effort tomorrow for the benefit of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. The group, led by David Mears, 10, a Worcester Prep fifth-grader, and his brother Will, 7, a Worcester Prep first-grader, is operating a lemonade stand at the Berlin Auto Wash on Old Ocean City Blvd. next to Barrett’s tomorrow from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Now, similar stands have been set up for just as long as there has been lemonade, or kids for that matter, but seldom are the proceeds donated to charity and rarely is the cause so personal for the young entrepreneurs.

The Mears boys and their Kids Taking Action team will be hawking lemonade tomorrow for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation in honor of their aunt, who was recently diagnosed with stage-four cancer, and their grandmother, who is in the recovery phase of her own battle with the insidious disease.

“They’ve been doing these projects off and on for the last few years, but this is more personal than ever before,” said parent Laura Mears, director of development at Worcester Prep, who helped her sons get started with their public service careers a few years back. “Their auntie and grandmother are both fighting cancer, and they want to help raise funds for this wonderful foundation. There of an age now where they have a better understanding of what this is all about.”

All of the proceeds from tomorrow’s lemonade stand will find their way to the Komen Foundation, either directly or indirectly. Some of the funds raised will be donated directly to the foundation, while some will be diverted to another upcoming fundraiser, the CrossFit Ocean City Crusaders’ three-day walk coming up in October. The CrossFit Ocean City Crusaders is a group of local women who organize and host charitable events, largely for cancer-related causes, and the Kids Taking Action crew will funnel some the funds they raise to the Komen Foundation through the CrossFit Crusaders.

Kids Taking Action first formed in the fall of 2005 after Hurricane Katrina rocked the Gulf. The Mears children and their friends, obviously much younger then, wanted to do something to help and set up a lemonade stand on Route 611 near Ruddo’s Golf.

“That very first lemonade stand raised funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina,” said Mears. “We had a connection with a school down there that was devastated by the storm and the money the kids raised was sent to help that school and those kids. They also sent cards to the students at the school and collected school supplies to send to them. We sent a huge box of supplies down there, thanks to the efforts of these kids.”

Since that first endeavor, the Kids Taking Action crew has rallied for other causes in the area. Their last big effort came a year or so ago when the Worcester County Developmental Center was devastated by a fire. The young entrepreneurs organized another lemonade stand and donated to proceeds to the WCDC’s emergency fund, which ultimately helped rebuild the facility.

“This time around, the kids felt like resurrecting their program for a cause that hits closer to home,” said Mears. “They came to me and said they wanted to do something and this is what they came up with. They picked the Komen Foundation because their aunt recently did a fundraiser walk for the organization.