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Two teens raise more than $100,000 to fight malaria

 

ROXANNE WASHINGTON, THE PLAIN DEALER
June 15th, 2017

In 2007, five-year-old Molly McNamara felt just awful one Sunday morning. She had forgotten to do something that was important to her.

That day her Sunday school class at Westlake United Methodist Church was collecting donations for a charity named Nothing But Nets, an organization that distributes mosquito nets in sub-Saharan Africa to help fight malaria. Only Molly forgot to bring the change that she had planned to donate.

"I felt bad about it because we had seen this cool demonstration showing how one net can protect a whole family from malaria, and I was really interested in that," remembers Molly, who is now 15 and living with her parents in Bay Village.

The budding philanthropist decided to do what countless kids have during the summer to earn money: Molly pitched a lemonade stand, with the intention of donating her earnings to Nothing but Nets. That same year her friend Logan Martens, who was turning six, didn't want presents for his birthday and instead asked friends and family to make donations to a worthy cause. He and his mom chose Nothing but Nets and Logan became Molly's lemonade stand partner.

Fast-forward to this past Tuesday, and Molly and Logan's final lemonade stand outside of the East Ohio Conference for the Methodist Church in Lakeside raised $2,953.63, bringing a 10-year total raised to $100,953 (the second year they switched charities to Imagine No Malaria). The total includes continued help from Molly and Logan's grandparents, their two churches (Logan goes to Church of the Lakes in Canton), their church districts and other Methodist churches.

"The first year the lemonade stand raised $1,800," remembers Molly, who is going into her junior year at Magnificat High School in Rocky River. "We raised $600 in sales and both of our grandparents (she and Logan's) matched that. We were surprised at the results so we decided to keep it going."

Says Logan, who is now 16 and soon to be a junior at Hoover High School in North Canton, "It (the amount that was raised the first year) really drove us to do more. Every year the amount that we've raised has gone up and up."

Molly and Logan's website says as of 2016 Imagine No Malaria had distributed 1.2 million nets throughout Africa.

"It's an interesting charity," Molly says. "Ten dollars can buy a net for a whole family."

The charity also has an education branch that trains health workers to go into African towns and assist families with the nets. There's a treatment branch that operates 300 hospitals and clinics for malaria across Africa. Additionally, money goes to research for malaria vaccines and diagnostic tests.

Molly and Logan are ending the lemonade stand after 10 years because they exceeded their goal of $100,000.

"We were worried that we wouldn't reach our goal and we were ecstatic when we did," Logan says. "We definitely had a lot of help."

Those who wish can continue to donate on Molly and Logan's website. They hope to visit Africa next year.

"Going to Africa is going to be expensive so we'll be focusing on raising money for that," Molly says. "After that we're off to college."

Story originally appeared at here.