Paul Green, 8, circulated a petition last week to urge the president and U.S. Congress to make childhood cancer research a budgetary priority.

He wore a gold T-shirt for childhood cancer and passed the petition to community members who attended a fundraising event in Arroyo Grande on Friday, Nov. 8.

Paul is the same age as Sam Jeffers, who died last month of cancer. His family held a public memorial in his honor Sunday, Nov. 10.

“He was a very sweet boy,” Paul said. “He was also funny.”

Paul’s mother, Erlayne Krasner, helped plan the fundraiser at Best Lovin BBQ restaurant last Friday as part of a local parent effort to drive support for childhood cancer treatment and funding for a cure in honor of Sam.

“We watch those kids go to school every day, and he was just one of them,” Krasner said. “All the kids should be able to go to school every day.

“How could you not (support) that?”

The Arroyo Grande restaurant allocated 20 percent of 3 to 9 p.m. sales for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a pediatric cancer charity.

Krasner, who worked an Alex’s Lemonade Stand outside the restaurant, said people had called to preorder meals, and groups trickled in and out for barbecue throughout the day.

Maureen and Jared Sharon sat at a table inside. They ordered a tri-tip sandwich and an order of ribs to go.

The couple said they have known the Jeffers family for about 13 years.

“Children are dying from cancer, and we need to fix it,” Maureen said. “And the only way to fix it is to spread awareness.”