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Lemonade Day to see 16 youth with thirst-quenching booths

Kids offer tasters to the judges for the best tasting lemonade on June 6
Masha Scheele Photo

Masha Scheele

When life gives you lemons you purchase a business license, enter a lease agreement, take out a loan for additional ingredients and necessary items, tweak your recipe and open up the best lemonade stand in the region.

That’s what 16 kids in Hinton are preparing for on June 22; Lemonade Day in northern Alberta. Together with 13 other communities, the Community Futures West Yellowhead (CFWY) office purchased the Lemonade Day program license to take part in the North American event that teaches kids how to start, own, and operate their own business.

“We are all operating under the northern Alberta license. We are bringing it to Hinton and Jasper this year, and hopefully next year we can add Edson and Grande Cache,” stated Deanne Fabrick from the CFWY office in Hinton.

Combined with Jasper, 29 kids signed up for the free program, which includes two mentor sessions to learn about starting a business.

Kids keep 100 per cent of the profits, but only after going through the proper process of setting up a business, starting with the purchase of a business license from the Town of Hinton. Then they enter into a lease agreement with a property owner where they want to set up their stand. 

“They have to purchase a lease for the day from the store owner for example. If they get any loans, they would have to pay those back,” said Fabrick.

Participants can also look for sponsors or investors, knowing they would have to pay back the investors. Throughout the mentor sessions, they learn everything from financial literacy and economics, college and career readiness, life skills, and personal development. Handbooks provided to the kids help them with budgeting and creating their business plans.

“There are three pillars the program focuses on. That’s spend some, save some, and share some in talking about the profits,” explained Fabrick.

Setting spending goals will allow them to budget better and know how much to charge for a cup of lemonade. 

Saving will allow them to put away money for later and sharing is about giving back to the community through non profit organizations or a group they want to support.

“We talk about what they need to do, also in regards to food handling. Health and safety, and stuff like that,” said Fabrick.

Three monetary prizes will be awarded for the best tasting, best stand, and best entrepreneur in Hinton and Jasper, and given a ribbon to put on their lemonade stands. Shae-lyn O’Keefe won the best tasting at the final Hinton mentor session on June 6, as chosen by a panel of five judges. Her stand is called “Shae’s Wonderade” and judges were wowed by Shae’s creativity and attention to detail. 

Masha Scheele Photo

The other two winners will be chosen on Lemonade Day.

The Best Entrepreneurs from Hinton and Jasper will be awarded with a ribbon and $250 and entered into the competition for the Best Entrepreneur for all Northern Alberta. That winner will win a bike and move on to the competition for the Best Entrepreneur of all Lemonade Day internationally, with a chance to win a trip for four people to an amusement park. 

The winners of the regional and international competition will be judged on their submitted business results and other criteria.

Lemonade Day started as a fun, experiential learning day for kindergarten to grade twelve kids in Houston, Texas, in 2007, and has grown to over a million kids throughout the US and Canada.

“They’ve had so many kids sign up now in Houston that they can look at trends and they show that there is an increase in confidence, creative problem solving, communication with the kids, and all these kids are actually going on to start their own business and remain in their communities. That’s kind of a focus of it also, to keep the kids here, and keep the community growing,” said Fabrick, adding that their mission is to help today’s youth become business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers, and forward-thinking citizens.