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Local sisters Jordan and Kayla Martelli continue raising money for Conn. girl stricken with cancer with Alex’s Lemonade Stand

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By Neil Zolot


REVERE – Since 2012 sisters Jordan, 16, and Kayla Martelli, 19, have been selling lemonade to raise money to cure cancer. “We had a bucket list and one of the items was to have a lemonade stand, but wanted to donate what we made,” Kayla remembers.

An Internet search by their mother, Susan, yielded information about Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a charity foundation named after Alexandra Scott, a Connecticut girl born in 1996 stricken with cancer, who raised money before dying in 2004. “What better cause is there to help?” Susan asks rhetorically. “The site broke my heart. Many people in my family have died from cancer, but they were older.”

Every summer the girls set up a lemonade stand at their house on Dale Street to sell drinks and take donations. It is the culmination of a two-month effort that also raises money through a donation page on the Alex’s Lemonade Stand website. During the pandemic year of 2020, it was a virtual stand. Over the years they’ve raised close to $60,000 and received recognition from the Alex Foundation as top fundraisers in 2018 and 2019.

They’ve also been recognized by the City Council and received the Key to the City from Acting Mayor Patrick Keefe when they set up their lemonade stand Saturday, August 12. Kayla also did a summer internship in Keefe’s office this summer. “It’s well deserved,” Keefe said. “They’re model citizens.”

Jordan is 16 and entering her junior year in high school. She’s captain of the field hockey team and plays outfield on the softball team.

Kayla is returning to Merrimack College for her sophomore year. She was her high school class president her junior year and served on the Student Council.

Both, collectively known as the Lemonettes, represented Revere in Project 351, an organization which uses one student from each of the state’s communities as goodwill ambassadors and volunteers.

Their involvement with Alex’s Lemonade Stand has led each to consider medicine and science as careers. Kayla is studying to be a nurse, while Jordan wants to study forensic science.

Their dad is Don Martelli, who is running for an at-large seat on the City Council this year. He was inspired to run by his daughters. “They say you should set an example for your kids, but they’re setting an example for us,” he said. “I’m very proud.”

The family lives in Ward 4, Keefe’s ward before he became Acting Mayor. He lives within walking distance and has known them for years.

So does Ward 4 Councillor candidate Paul Argenzio. “The amount of money they’ve raised is phenomenal,” he feels.

Other Councillors also visited the house Saturday, including Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky and Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino. “Representatives from the city have been very generous,” Don said.

Friends and relatives also come over every year and a party ensues. Among them was Jordan and Kayla’s grandmother Doreen Curreri, who lives in Point of Pines in a house once owned by Wonderland Ballroom owner Joseph DiStefano. “I’ve never missed visiting the lemonade stand,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see them do something for a good cause. It’s gotten bigger and bigger over the years. When they started, they were very young. To me they were babies. I’m very proud of them.”

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