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Lemonade Day event to help youth learn about business, raise funds for nonprofits

POSTED May 15, 2012 10:56 p.m.

It’s never too early for children to learn the basic tenants of running a business. And what better way to learn than by operating an old-fashioned lemonade stand?

This Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., hundreds of young entrepreneurs will open their own lemonade stands across Turlock, as the city celebrates its first-ever Lemonade Day.

“Lemonade Day, by itself, is a way to teach children how to own, run and operate their own businesses through having a lemonade stand,” explained Shaun Larson, assistant coordinator of Turlock’s Lemonade Day.

Since its 2007 start in Houston, Texas, hundreds of thousands of children have gone through the process of opening a Lemonade Day business. They create budgets, secure investors, select a site, and set goals.

Children are encouraged to write a business plan which calls for earning, saving, and sharing. Larson gave an example of a student trying to earn money for a volleyball camp, saving 10 percent of proceeds for college, and giving 10 percent of proceeds to the Humane Society.

The program comes with a printed instruction book, walking children and their parents through the entire process. The planning documents even discuss finding financing for cups and straws, such as obtaining a (very) low-interest loan from a family member.

More than 150 stands are expected citywide this Sunday. Participants range in age from 4 to 18,

“Of course, a kindergartener's is going to look quite different from a high schooler’s,” Larson said.

Turlock’s Lemonade Day is part of a new movement, sweeping the county. Residents of Modesto, Oakdale, and Riverbank will celebrate Lemonade Day this Sunday as well.

The program was brought to Turlock by the Connections Family Center, a division of the United Cerebral Palsy of Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties. Several corporate “Stands on the Map” sponsor donations will benefit the center, which promotes child development and offers senior services.

Those donations – and the hundreds of donations which will be made by individual lemonade stands – mean Lemonade Day is more than just about aiding young entrepreneurs. It’s also about supporting Turlock’s countless needy non-profits.

“This one event can allow all of these programs to be earning money on the same day,” Larson said.

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