Lemonade lessons in Aspen
July 1, 2012
ASPEN – Pink lemonade. Strawberry lemonade. Raspberry lemonade. Lavender lemonade. Shangri-La lemonade. Hawaiian lemonade.
Lemonade made with fresh fruit. Lemonade made with fresh tea. Lemonade served with lemon cupcakes on the side. Lemonade paired with ice cream.
And lemonade made with a whole lot of heart.
Yes … on just about every street corner in Aspen on Saturday there was a lemonade stand.
But just as important, on pretty much every street corner in Aspen, there were kids enthusiastic about being their own bosses.
And perhaps even more important, on those street corners, money was being made for an array of worthy causes, from the Aspen Animal Shelter to Aspen Junior Hockey and from the Shining Stars Foundation to victims of the Colorado wildfires – and many more.
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And this, say organizers of the first-ever Lemonade Day Aspen, was the most amazing thing about Saturday’s event.
“Kids were encouraged to save some, spend some and share some,” said Heather Hicks, Lemonade Day Aspen director, who also works with the Buddy Program, which presented the program locally. “What was so cool is how many kids wanted to give back. It’s such reflection of our community. … The kids are so compassionate, and they wanted to channel their energy into something so positive.”
According to Hicks, Lemonade Day was a great success, with dozens of kids setting up some 40 stands around town. And while the total amount raised hasn’t yet been determined, there were tip jars filled with bills large and small, including a few sizable contributions from Buddy Program donors and other community members who were impressed by the event.
Philanthropy is just one facet of Lemonade Day, however. A national organization founded by part-time Aspen resident Michael Holthouse, Lemonade Day is a comprehensive program to help kids learn how to be entrepreneurs. Kids who registered received a backpack filled with the tools they needed to operate their lemonade stand – some kids signed up alone, others with friends, while a few local school classes paired up to set up shop.
“Kids really put their own unique spin on their lemonade stands, which was really cool and such an important part of what we were trying to do,” Hicks said. “It’s such a great, transformative experience.”
Earlier this year, Hicks said the idea behind Lemonade Day was also community-building. In this regard, Saturday could not have been more perfect in many ways.
“The community really pooled together – we saw kids from all types of demographics – to embrace this,” she said. “It was pretty amazing.”