"I was watching the news on television one day and that's when I learned about Alex's Lemonade Stand," says Kaitlyn Newman, 9, who will begin fourth grade at Lawrence School in the fall.
That's all it took to motivate this young dynamo to fundraise for a cure for childhood cancer. She's been working on this goal now for four years, raising more than $1,300 selling cups of lemonade at events such as the Berlin Lions Music Festival in June and the Westfield Memorial Day parade.
Jean Dypa Newman, Kaitlyn's mother, says, "She has the biggest heart and the fiercest determination. Kaitlyn's growing her hair now to donate it to Locks for Love. I know she'll do it."
Kait recently received a Civitan Award for her work on the cause, along with her brother who is now helping out. She also volunteers at the Civitan's Senior Bingo events, is a Brownie at Lawrence Elementary School, helps out at St. Pius Church functions, and plays softball in Middletown Little League.
"I do it to help other children and I do it because it makes me feel proud of myself," said Kaitlyn about her lemonade stand. Her goal is to "someday build houses for people who are homeless." But, she adds, "I'd also like to be a singer."
Community service runs in her family. Kaitlyn is the granddaughter of Ed and Ginny Dypa, well-known in the Westfield community for their involvement in the Middletown Senior Center, participation in the Westfield Residents Association, and devotion to St. Pius X. Church.
Kaitlyn is also cousin to , a recently awarded Eagle Scout.