Kids try hand at lemonade making in prep for Lemonade Day
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Dozens of kids got their squeeze on and learned what goes into making fresh lemonade during the annual Little Lemon Squeezers event hosted by the Copperas Cove Chick-fil-A with the Lemonade Day Fort Hood Area Saturday morning.
The event was held inside the restaurant due to a brief downpour right before it began at 9 a.m. Kids started their learning experience by coloring their own paper chef’s hat and apron before watching how Chick-fil-A team members juice the lemons used for their famous lemonade.
Chick-fil-A restaurants are one of the highest consumers of Sunkist lemons, according to Courtney Tillman, the marketing director for the Copperas Cove location. One case of lemons makes about eight quarts of lemon juice and it takes about two quarts to make one batch of lemonade. Tillman estimated that they juice about eight cases of lemons each morning.
While Chick-fil-A uses a machine, the kids got to use their hands and a manual juicer, placing halved lemons on top and twisting and squeezing the best they could.
The next station allowed each child to learn the Chick-fil-A recipe of lemon juice, water and sugar and provided the opportunity to add in strawberries, blueberries, black berries, watermelon, peaches, strawberry puree or mint leaves.
Last year marked Tillman’s first time overseeing the event and it made a lasting impression on her, especially seeing the kids get creative, she said.
“Kids just love being able to do something for themselves, create something for themselves,” Tillman said.
Chick-fil-A is one of the sponsors of Lemonade Day and has partnered with Lemonade Day to provide this opportunity for kids to experiment because of how Chick-fil-A operates.
“Each store is individually owned and operated, so the operator who owns this location is an entrepreneur,” Tillman said.
While they have a chain umbrella and are known nationwide, getting the business up and running takes effort on the owner’s part and goes hand in hand with the message of Lemonade Day.
“Being able to inspire kids, especially this generation of kids who would rather sit at home and play video games, being able to inspire them that they can do more, they have the capacity, they have the capability to and once they realize that the doors are open and so we just love what Lemonade Day does for those kids,” Tillman said. “Chick-fil-A is not quite yet able to do it ourselves so we partner with someone who is able to really teach all those fundamental pieces that go together- branding it, how to build your stand, how to spend your money after you make it- those pieces that go into to hopefully inspire kids.”
Tillman said hopefully one day that young entrepreneurs would one day come to work at Chick-fil-A and bring their “entrepreneur spirit that makes our business better and makes our business grow.”
Samantha Ricciardi, with the Fort Hood Area Lemonade Day, was busy helping parents register their child for the upcoming Lemonade Day weekend. Ricciardi signed up 20 kids during Saturday’s event and said that more than 1,000 have registered across the Fort Hood area since the signup period began last month.
Larissa Keller and her husband, Brandon, were at the event with their three children, Dallas, 6, Beretta, 4, and Hudson, 1. They were joined by her friend Jessica Marchik and her three children Kiley, 7, Lucas, 4 and Haley, 2.
Keller said she found out about the event through Facebook.
“It was fun,” Keller said. “A learning experience. It was fun.”
Each of the kids got to try their hand at making their own lemonade, with some help from Mom or Dad.
Keller said she wasn’t sure whether her kids would be doing their own lemonade stand but had learned a bit more about what Lemonade Day entails through the Lemon Squeezers event.
Lemonade Day weekend takes place May 4 and May 5. For more information, visit https://lemonadeday.org/fort-hood-area.