Lemonade stands to help fight malaria

Saturday for World Malaria Day, area United Methodist Churches will join those elsewhere around Virginia in helping fight the spread of malaria in sub-Saharan African nations.

Malaria in the United States is fairly uncommon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting about 1,500 cases a year. But in Africa it kills a person every 60 seconds, reports the website http://www.malarianomore.

A mosquito-borne disease, malaria causes fever, chills and other flu-like symptoms, eventually causing death mainly in children younger than 5 and in pregnant women. However, it is preventable and treatable. The mosquitoes feed at night, making bed nets an effective prevention tool.

Beginning this weekend, participating churches with the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church have joined a challenge to set up lemonade stands as a fundraiser for purchasing bed nets, said Eva Selwyn, co-chairperson for missions at Woodstock United Methodist Church.

“Every $10 will buy a malaria net,” she said.

Organized as a challenge through the organization Imagine No Malaria, the fundraiser collects a freewill offering at church-based lemonade stands and donations through the website http://imaginenomalaria.org.

So far the organization has raised $513,770 in this year’s fundraiser — an achievement Selwyn pointed out saves 51,377.

This year’s goal is to raise $1 million, she said.

Woodstock’s fundraiser will begin with a 7:30 p.m. concert by the Masterworks Chorus. Tickets for the concert are $15 for adults, $7.50 for children 12 to 18 and free for children younger than 11.

Following the concert, the lemonade fundraiser will be in the church’s social hall at 152 S. Muhlenberg St., Woodstock.

Custom order mason jars will be delivered on Sunday.

Locally, churches in Winchester and Harrisonburg and the counties of Shenandoah, Warren and Frederick will also participate on Saturday and on later dates.

Participating churches are listed at the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church’s website, http://preview.tinyurl.com/my63uhv, and include the following:

• Front Royal UMC — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on West Main St., Front Royal

• Children and youth of Manor Memorial UMC — 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Wal-Mart in Woodstock

• United Methodist Women of Mountain View UMC — 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Tom’s Market, 1998 Back Mountain Road, Winchester

• Round Hill UMC in Frederick County — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Dollar Tree, Rivendale Shopping Center, Route 522, Winchester

• Olma Olay-May of Asbury UMC — 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday at 208 S. Main St., Harrisonburg

• Braddock Street UMC — during the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, 4 to 8 p.m. May 1 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 2, 115 Wolfe St., Winchester

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com