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Fri, April 26

Kingman girl sells lemonade to raise money for a stranger with cancer

Taylee Mote, 8, is all smiles as she holds the Kingman Fire Department Service Award she received at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Mote ran a stunningly successful one-day lemonade stand on March 5 that raised more than $550 for the family of Natalie Willard, a toddler stricken with cancer. (DOUG McMURDO/Miner)

Taylee Mote, 8, is all smiles as she holds the Kingman Fire Department Service Award she received at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Mote ran a stunningly successful one-day lemonade stand on March 5 that raised more than $550 for the family of Natalie Willard, a toddler stricken with cancer. (DOUG McMURDO/Miner)

KINGMAN - Taylee Mote never knew Natalie Willard before March 5, the day the 8-year-old girl sold $555.50 worth of lemonade from a stand she set up on behalf of Willard, a 2-year-old cancer patient currently undergoing chemotherapy at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

The City Council and Kingman Fire Department feted Mote for her "heroic and noble act" during a special presentation during Tuesday's Council meeting.

Mayor Richard Anderson presented Mote with a proclamation and Fire Chief Jake Rhoades and firefighters Tommy Flanagan and Brian Knarr gave her a plaque in a ceremony that earned the girl a standing ovation from the audience in a packed Council chambers.

Rhoades said Kingman was obviously a tight-knit community and he marveled at Mote's willingness to help out a stranger - and to be so successful. Rhoades presented Mote with the Kingman Fire Department's Service Award and the city's firefighters association contributed $300 to Mote's collection for the Willard family.

Natalie, according to Anderson, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and is undergoing intensive treatment in Phoenix.

He said the family has relocated from Kingman to Phoenix to be with Natalie and both her parents are currently on leaves of absence. Natalie's father works for UniSource and her mother is a nurse at Kingman Regional Medical Center.

And while co-workers have donated paid time off hours to the couple, Anderson said Natalie's illness has "put a substantial financial burden" on the family, a fact that makes Mote's effort to help so profound.

"At such a young age, Taylee is a shining example to all of us of what selfless love, kindness and compassion truly are," said Anderson. "Taylee's initiative to help a family she has not met makes her a remarkable role model in today's society and her acts of kindness and compassion set an example of someone that we should all strive to be more like. She has also shown us that heroism knows no boundaries, and certainly knows no age."

Anderson said that in appreciation of her "heroic and noble act," it was an honor to join the fire department in recognizing Mote.

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