When life gives you lemons, make a stand | AspenTimes.com

When life gives you lemons, make a stand

Jeanne McGovern
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – The lemonade stand. It seems simple enough, almost a rite of passage for kids.

But this summer, the lemonade stand will reach new heights as kids in the Roaring Fork Valley in grades kindergarten through 12 join a national movement called Lemonade Day.

“This program is all about providing a fun and free experiential learning program that teaches kids how to own and operate their own business,” said Heather Hicks, Lemonade Day city director. “It’s very empowering.”

According to Hicks, who also works for the Buddy Program, Lemonade Day meshes perfectly with the nonprofit’s mission.

“It’s really like an apprenticeship program,” said Hicks, adding that Michael Holthouse, the founder of Lemonade Day, is a part-time Aspen resident and was looking for an organization to take charge of it in the Roaring Fork Valley. “And since we have a seasoned staff, and are well established in the valley from Aspen to Parachute, it was a great fit.”

Eventually, event organizers hope to see 2,500 lemonade stands spring up across the valley on Lemonade Day, which is June 30.

But Lemonade Day is about more than just that one day. It’s a comprehensive program to help kids learn how to be entrepreneurs.

The movement is starting now, as organizers partner with local youth organizations, schools and others to get the word out.

In April, registration will open. And kids who want to be involved, along with “a caring adult,” will get to work. First they receive a backpack filled with the tools they need to operate their lemonade stand.

“They have to find an investor, decide what kind of lemonade to sell, where to set up their stand and how to advertise it,” Hicks said. “They learn something every step of the way.

“It builds kids up and helps them realize they can accomplish anything if they set their heart on it.”

Plus, it teaches kids to be fiscally responsible, as Lemonade Day organizers will encourage kids to “save some, spend some and give some.”

It is also a community-building event, Hicks said.

“The spirit of this is to get everyone involved, to get everyone out there on the same day in supporting the next generation of youth in achieving their dreams,” she said. “The things kids will learn by being part of Lemonade Day are not things that are always taught in schools or at home.

“I think it will really be amazing to see it come together.”