Man with own challenges raising money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand after donations theft

FAIRLAWN, Ohio - A debilitating disorder and despicable thief can’t slow down a local man who is determined to help others.

Todd Carson was born three months premature and diagnosed with cerebral palsy that has confined the 39-year-old to a wheelchair his entire life.

Despite his physical challenges, Carson has worked at Auntie Anne’s pretzel shop inside of Summit Mall for about the last two decades.

His favorite part of the job, aside from the cinnamon and sugar pretzels, is collecting money for charities that are selected by Auntie Anne’s.

“I love doing charity work,” said Todd. “There’s fluid on my brain so occasionally they have to go in and repair the shunt, but whatever charity work they want us to do I’ll gladly do it.”

For the past seven years, donations have gone to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a foundation fighting pediatric cancer and the beneficiary of the 2018 Fox 8 Fox Trot 5k run and 1 mile walk.

“They do wonderful work,” said Todd, “I’m glad to help them out every year.”

So Todd admits he was a little “salty” when he heard that a thief stole donation money intended for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

“I didn’t think that was right,” said Todd.

On Sunday July 8th, a man was captured on surveillance cameras stealing a donation box worth $75, filled with about $75 in cash from the Auntie Anne’s at Southpark Mall in Strongsville after closing time.

The story aired on Fox 8 News, and within days, a Lorain County man turned himself in to Strongsville Police.

While the man is facing two theft charges, Todd and his co-workers are now stepping up their efforts to replace the stolen cash.

“We figure we’re just gonna work all the harder and Todd works very hard every day at it, so we’re just gonna earn it back,” said Duane Ruegsegger, manager at Auntie Anne’s Summit Mall.

Since 2011, Auntie Anne’s stores across the country have donated 3.7 million dollars to Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Todd says no petty thief will ever stop them from helping others.

“I’ll gladly help out and raise money for them,” said Todd. “Auntie Anne's is a wonderful company to work for.”

Click here for more information on the 2018 Fox Trot and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation