Lemonade Day on the Kenai… “Empowering today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs!”

Lemonade Day was June 14th in Kenai and Soldotna, and event that is all about “Empowering today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs,” according to January Yeager, project coordinator for the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. “The local area saw over 50 stands with themes ranging from Laser Treated Lemonade to a Tiki Stand! More than 80 local youth registered to have a stand and learn all about what it takes to start and run a business. A business workshop was taught by national Lemonade Day sponsor Wells Fargo and also sponsored by Peninsula Community Health Services. A brief food safety session was also presented by JTAK Food Safety. A stand building workshop was hosted and sponsored by Home Depot. Sixteen stands were built by our kids with the help of the awesome Home Depot Staff,” said Yeager.

Lemonade Day was founded by Michael Holthouse in 2007 in Houston, Texas. Michael had a vision to help kids start, own and operate their own business. He wanted to inspire today’s youth to work hard to make a profit and also to save some and share some with their communities. Lemonade Day has grown from having 2700 participants in one city, to well over 150,000 participants in over 36 states and Canada. Michael’s goal is to bring this entrepreneurial experience to a million kids in over 100 cities to empower our youth in a way that has never been done on this scale!

On an activity rich day in June the Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware & Fishing’s parking lot was transformed into a lemonade stand strip mall with four individual stands featuring unique lemonade recipes from Lemonade for Heroes to laser treated drinks, “Laser treated lemonade is where you run your cup down this track and a laser shoots it as it passes by,” explained entrepreneur 8-year-old Emily Moss, whose father helped her develop the concept. Laser lemonade was a dollar seventy five more per cup than Emily’s regular recipe, “The advantages of laser lemonade is that it gives you good luck fishing and makes it taste sweeter, but you can also get laser treated water for just a dollar which is equally lucky for fishing if you don’t like lemonade. It’s guaranteed so if you don’t catch a fish you can come back for a free glass of lemonade,” said Emily. 11-year-old Joshua and his 8-year-old partner Ethan have had their Lemonade for Heroes stand for three years and have learned the business practice of giving back, “We have flavors, cherry, lime, strawberry and mango. We sell a lot of drinks and sugar pops and we call our stand Lemonade for Heroes because we donate half of our proceeds to veterans, Wounded Warriors and the WWII veteran’s museum,” said Joshua. There was nothing sour about the 2014 Lemonade Day in Soldotna and Kenai just the sweet lessons of youth learning about free enterprise and appreciation for those who protect those freedoms.

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