Dozens of Young Entrepreneurs Participate in Lemonade Day
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Dozens of Copperas Cove students offered a refreshing beverage and a delicious snack to the community on a hot, hot day during the annual Fort Hood Area Lemonade Day weekend this past Saturday and Sunday.
Held the first weekend in May every year, Lemonade Day is a nation-wide program that offers youth a chance to become entrepreneurs for a day or two by way of setting up a lemonade stand and selling their product.
Benjamin Cunningham, a fifth grader at Martin Walker Elementary, set up his Galactic Lemonade stand in front of Navy Federal Credit Union. His stand featured Star Wars themed goodies, including a blue Luke Sky-Water lemonade, a green Yoda-Ade, Star Wars cookies, light sabers, crazy straws and light cubes that flash red, blue and green when immersed in liquid. The lemonades featured food coloring and edible glitter for an extra bit of fun.
This was Benjamin’s third year participating in Lemonade Day. Last year, his lemonade stand was WWE themed.
One of the key tenets of Lemonade Day is teaching financial responsibility to children by having them spend some, save some and share some of their funds.
Benjamin said he plans to buy more Star Wars stuff, save some money for college and donate a portion of his sales to the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter.
“It’s because we have a bunch of dogs and just helping dogs in need is my specialty because I really love dogs,” Cunningham said about why he chose the animal shelter to donate his funds to.
His mother, Heather Cunningham, said she liked Lemonade Day and watching her son learn and improve his lemonade stand skills with each year.
“The first year it was just a stand and a lemonade sign, and the second year, it was a stand and then he had a theme, like WWE,” Heather said. “On his third year, now he's branched out to a business, and he has branding, and he has a variety of options, so he's growing in kind of building a business, but he's also already interacted with 30 adults this morning, selling them lemonade. I mean, in all honesty, I think there's a lot of even adults who I don’t think are able to have those conversations, especially in the digital world and [with] the texting.”
Benjamin opened his stand Saturday morning at 9 a.m., when Navy Federal Credit Union opened their doors, and he stayed there, selling lemonade and other goodies until close of business.
Heather said that this opportunity provided a chance for Benjamin to work on social skills and conversational skills.
“I think it's just a great program,” Heather said. “I think it teaches these kids to develop skills that, not just to sell lemonade, but it's going to help them in life, period. And it’s a bonus is he gets to add to his Star Wars collection.”
Maddox Tobias returned with his Dr. Seuss on the Loose Lemonade Stand in the parking lot of Preferred Plaza, which houses the Copperas Cove Leader-Press office at 2210 Bus. 190. Maddox purchased books for foster children to read and keep with funds raised at his stand last year, while serving as the Five Hills Junior Ambassador.
This year, he selected two organizations devoted to helping animals: Texas Humane Heroes and Tiny Hooves Rescue.
“Because I love helping animals, and I feel like it’s right to help animals and donate to people that actually do exactly that, so I want to support them,” Maddox said.
His mom, Jillian, said that after Maddox announced he wanted to support animals this year, she looked up several organizations and shared the organizations with Maddox, including looking at their Facebook pages, to see what they represent and what they do.
This year, Maddox also expanded his selection of products, bringing back his Lorax Lemonade, Pink Ink Yink Drink Strawberry Lemonade, and Truffle Tree Sweet Tea and adding yellow chocolate covered pretzels and green cupcakes named after Dr. Seuss books, plus three types of souvenir cups, bags, pet bandanas and more accessories, all decorated by Jillian.
His stand also featured raffle tickets for different items, including tickets to the Renaissance Faire, plus donation jars for the two organizations. He also sold dog treats donated by local businesses Dog Gone Delights and Everything Paw Related.
Briana Liles and siblings Brayden and Braelyn manned their stands at Wal-Mart, on the Market entrance. Miss B’s Lemonade and The 3 B’s Eats and Treats offered sweet tea donated by Bush’s Chicken, original lemonade from Chick-fil-A, berry lemonade from McAlister’s Deli, the Liles’ blue Hawaiian lemonade, pulled pork sandwiches, beef hot dogs, cheesecake slices and more.
This marked the fifth year for Liles, who won the title of National Lemonade Day Entrepreneur of the Year back in 2018.
This year, the Liles siblings were donating a portion of their proceeds to Foster Love Bell County, an organization that provides items and support to children who enter the foster care system. They also passed out fliers with a list of needed items, such as diapers, wipes, clothes, toiletries, etc. and were accepting donations of said items to be delivered to the organization.
Liles said she liked participating in Lemonade Day because it serves as a chance to help her get ready for a job once she is old enough.
Six-year-old Chloe and her mom, Sarah Craig, were set up with Chloe’s Lemonade Stand in front of Keith Ace Hardware Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chloe is in kindergarten at House Creek Elementary, and this was her first time participating in Lemonade Day.
“I don't think she fully understands the concept of it,” Sarah said. “We’ve sat down and talked about it, but she’s still trying to figure out what that means to be a little entrepreneur doing the lemonade stand.”
Sarah added that their stand was one of the ones selected for the judging this year, which gave them motivation to step up their game next year.
Chloe plans to buy a new toy with some of her funds and to donate to the animal shelter as well.
“It’s a little challenging because it's just trying to keep her attention focused on her tasks at hand,” Sarah said. “She just wants to take the money, so I’m just kind of handling all the drinks and stuff, but I think she's kind of getting the concept as we go through.”
Sarah said she liked the idea of Lemonade Day for kids.
“It's great for someone young like her to be able to kind of get an idea of what business looks like for such a young person perspective, so I think it's a great opportunity for them to just kind of get their foot in that world and start figuring it out,” Sarah added.
Other lemonade stands around town included Martin Walker Elementary fourth-graders Ryan Ramirez and Simon San, who set up their stand “Lem’s Lemonade” at City Park along with William Ellsworth and Anderson Turner, also from Martin Walker Elementary, who set up their “Tropical Lemonade” stand.
Over at S.C. Lee, several sixth-grade students set up their own stands in the parking lot, including Jacob Arsenault and Khai Nguyen, Jayden Carswell, and Summer Miller.
Other stands included Mia’s Lemonade at Mattress Firm; Lemon Tears at 412 Avenue D; Juiced at 316 Avenue D; Michael’s GamerAde Stand on Wigeon Way; Lemodise on Gail Drive; Ocean’s Bounty Lemonade, by Hayley Sawyer, set up in front of Wal-Mart; Bray’s Lemonade on the South Park walking trail; and other stands at homes on Logsdon Street, Dryden Avenue, Coleton Drive, Skyview Drive and Redbud Drive.