Local Kids Participate in 'Lemonade Day'

     Kids across the nation will be out selling lemonade this weekend. Saturday is Lemonade Day and the western Kenai Peninsula is getting in on the action.

     The lemonade stand: a staple for kids over the years who were looking to make a quick buck. This year, there will be stands popping up in various locations in Homer, Kenai and Soldotna. 

     “They basically learn everything about small business through opening their very own lemonade stand,” Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Project Coordinator January Yeager said.

     Kids have to register their stand with the chamber, create a business plan and even get investors if they can’t afford building materials and supplies. She said Lemonade Day had its official start in 2007.

     “The kids go through and serve lemonade… talk to folks and tell them about their stand and what made them choose to have a stand. And most importantly, what they are going to do with the money that they make. So a lot of kids are really excited to be making their own money for the first time,” she said.

     Yeager said the program also encourages the kids to create savings accounts and even give some money to local charities. 

     “Some kids are going to be doing the food bank. The forestry was another one that I heard of that I thought was a really interesting and out-of-the-box choice,” she said.

     Last year about 50 kids were registered with the program on the central peninsula. This year the number has more than doubled with about 120 participants. Homer is trying out Lemonade Day for the first time this year.

     Debbie Speakman is the membership coordinator for the Homer Chamber of Commerce. She’s been spearheading plans for Saturday’s event. Speakman says since this is the first year for the area, only about 20 kids have signed up so far. But where the town lacks in numbers, it makes up for in business savvy.

     “These kids, they talked to the harbormaster… it’s Shorebird weekend. They found out when the tours are going off the dock, and when it was going to be the busiest… they did their market research,” Speakman said. 

     She said the kids found out the busiest spot will be by ramp 2. Speakman also said it isn’t too late to sign up. 

     “Kids can still register all the way up through the 10th. If they have time they can come into the chamber,” she said.

     Anyone interested can also sign up at Alaska.lemonadeday.org. Kids in Kindergarten through high school are invited to take part. Locations for all the stands across the peninsula can be found at the chamber websites and at the Alaska Lemonade Day site.