Ames Teen Raises $50,000 for Children’s Hospital Starting With Lemonade Stand

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DES MOINES, Iowa – An Ames teenager has a big to-do list this summer as she gives back in a big way.

You’ll find Grace McCunn’s name on the donor wall at Blank Children’s Hospital. “I started raising money for Blank about three years ago when I was diagnosed with chronic daily migraines,” said Grace.

The now 13-year-old spent time in the emergency room and hospital when she was in fifth grade. When she got out, she set up a lemonade stand. “I think I brought in a check of $100 the first time,” she said.

That turned into the Amazing Grace Lemonade Race, which has raised much more than $100. “I`ve raised over $50,000,” she said. “I didn`t think I’d raise that much money, honestly.”

Grace is the youngest person to have her name on the donor wall at Blank Children`s Hospital. This year the money raised from the 5k run/walk will go to a center being built in West Des Moines.

It’s the new STAR and Developmental Center. “We have literally outgrown the space we have,” said STAR Medical Director Ken McCann.

It is located on Westown Parkway and will accommodate the expansion of two services: the developmental center, which serves those with developmental, behavioral, and physical conditions and the STAR center, which helps children exposed to abuse and neglect.

“This is something we`re building as part of the community and we really want the community to help take ownership of this,” said McCann.

Grace is excited to help. Her goal is to raise $15,000 at this year’s event. “Doing something little to help them is what I wanted to do. I wanted to make someone smile. I wanted to make their day. Something so little and go so far,” she said.

The third annual Amazing Grace Lemonade Race is July 27th. It starts at 8 a.m. at Ada Hayden Park in Ames. A kids run is at 7:30. You can sign up at

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