LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercury Insurance auctioned a 2013 Toyota Highlander to combat childhood cancer this morning, raising $14,700. All proceeds benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for pediatric cancers. The auction was held at the Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) branch in Anaheim.
The 2013 Toyota Highlander had an MSRP of $30,194, according to Kelly Blue Book. The reconditioning of the salvaged Toyota to raise funds for ALSF and pediatric cancer research provides a second chance for children with cancer.
"Mercury Insurance has a long-standing reputation of giving back to the communities in which we work," said Randy Petro, vice president and chief claims officer at Mercury Insurance. "Pediatric cancer doesn't receive nearly the amount of funding and support as other types of cancer research. The money raised from auctioning the Highlander will help this cause, and every dollar raised makes a difference."
Inspired by four-year-old cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott, who sold lemonade from her front yard to raise money for childhood cancer research, ALSF continues her mission. Fifteen years later, Alex's good deed has funded more than 500 research projects across North America. Both the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope and the Children's Hospital Los Angeles have been recipients of grant funds from ALSF in 2015.
Today's event honored Karah Casas, age 10, who was diagnosed with leukemia while the disease was in its earliest stages. It has had a profound impact on her life, and the road has been rough for both Karah and her family. While she is battling leukemia, which is in remission, Karah has been unable to attend school for two years as she deals with the side effects of treatment.
"Watching my daughter suffer is completely heartbreaking. It's not something any child should ever have to go through," said Joann Sawyer, Karah's mother. "She's a hero, she's so strong and she wants to support children who share in her day-to-day struggle. I'm very proud of her."
IAA hosts live vehicle auctions in six languages online and at 160 sites throughout North America, to buyers in more than 110 countries. Branches across the country participate through hosting lemonade stands on site and IAA encourages employees, customers and members of the community to make personal contributions.
Mercury Insurance, a California-based company supplying personal automobile and homeowners insurance in 13 states, has participated in local and regional charities during the past five decades. This is the fourth consecutive year that the company has provided a vehicle for auction to benefit ALSF, cumulatively raising more than $50,000 to date.
"Mercury exists to help people put their lives back together – to extend a hand when people need it most. Partnering with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, an organization that does the same for the families impacted by childhood cancer, is a natural fit," said Petro. "We're proud to support a cause dedicated to fighting a disease that affects so many children and families. We can only hope that these events and others like them will help move us closer to finding cures."
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) charity, has raised more than $100 million toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 500 pediatric cancer research projects nationally.
Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization predominantly offering personal automobile, homeowners and commercial insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices. For more information visit www.mercuryinsurance.com or Facebook.com/MercuryInsurance and follow the company on Twitter.