Ottawa area residents who like to take in Kansas City Royals games this summer will have a chance to help in the fight against childhood cancer.

The Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s national pizza chain and Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon have joined forces for a special Alex Gordon Double Deal throughout the remainder of the regular season, in which 50 cents from each pizza sale at the ballpark will be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding cures for all children with cancer, according to a news release from the foundation.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has been the beneficiary of several Ottawa fundraisers in the past.

East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corp.’s Youth Action Council for several years played host to a lemonade stand — selling lemon slushes and lemon baked goods — in Ottawa, with proceeds benefiting the national foundation, according to The Herald’s archives.

The foundation is named for cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004), the release said. In 2000, 4-year-old Alex said she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer, according to the release. The Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, raising more than $60 million toward finding a cure, and has funded 300 pediatric cancer research projects nationally, the foundation said.

I wouldn’t typically plug this type of promotion because Papa John’s will still be making money from the sales of its pizzas, but the foundation has been one of the most instrumental groups in trying to raise money for cancer research that I decided to make an exception.

With plenty of Royals fans about — and the foundation being a local favorite in the past — hopefully Ottawans will be able to enjoy a little pizza at the ballpark and know that 50 cents of that purchase is going to a worthwhile cause.

Youth fitness

Switching from the diamond to the gridiron, the National Football League Friday announced a partnership with the National PTA to promote youth health and fitness.

The “Back to Sports” initiative is designed to help PTA leaders across the country educate communities on youth wellness — from concussion education to NFL Play 60 tips on nutrition and staying active, according to a joint release from the NFL and National PTA.

As part of the initiative, PTAs are being encouraged to plan “Back to Sports Nights” to engage parents and community leaders on ways to help children stay safer and make healthful lifestyle choices, the release said.

Ottawa PTA groups and residents who are interested in this initiative can read more about it on the National PTA’s website,

Doug Carder is a Herald staff writer. Email him at