FORT HOOD, Texas - Sixty-six lemonade stands were set up on the installation and its surrounding communities celebrating the 13th annual Military Lemonade Day here, May 7-8.
“Lemonade Day is a program where we teach children how to start, own and operate their own business via a lemonade stand,” explained Ally Torres, Fort Hood Area Lemonade Day city director. “They learn entrepreneur skills, financial literacy, build their stand and how to create lemonade.”
Nieomi King, nicknamed the “Godmother of Military Lemonade Day,” founded Military Lemonade Day in 2010 and the Fort Hood Area Lemonade Day has been going on since then. Since creating Military Lemonade Day here at Fort Hood, it has grown to other military installations around the world, allowing participating installations to sign up under a lower-cost license fee.
“The program teaches children the fundamentals of business operations from finding an investor, to saving some of their profits and giving some as philanthropy is a vital component of business,” King said.
This year’s event celebrated “A Sweeter View for 2022,” the theme for the annual event, inspired by the end of social distancing, with a “sweeter” outlook for the road ahead.
The young entrepreneurs are responsible for creating a business plan, designing a lemonade stand, advertising their business and creating tasty lemonade. There are contests for best-tasting lemonade, most unique lemonade, best presentation and best lemonade stand. This year’s participants showed a lot of creativity in both stand decorating and lemonade flavors.
Many of the youth participants put a creative spin on their lemonade, with a variety of concoctions such as strawberry lemonade, black cherry lemonade and even lavender lemonade.
Brother and sister duo, Solomon and Aurora Karch, the son and daughter of Chaplain (Capt.) Jack Karch, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chem. Brigade, drew inspiration from Fort Hood and created an Army-themed lemonade stand called “Great Place Lemonade,” complete with canteens of lemonade with their logo designed on the front of the canteens.
“The Great Place is Fort Hood and we wanted to acknowledge our patriotism,” explained 11-year-old Solomon.
While the event is called Lemonade Day, lemonade stands are just the basic idea. Throughout the years, the participants have made it their own and now sell a variety of things, such as cookies, cupcakes, hotdogs and much more.
Fourteen-year-old Lana Pavey with Wisteria House Lemonade had an anime-themed lemonade stand and sold handmade paintings of her favorite anime characters, along with her lemonade.
This year’s winners included:
· Best Overall Tasting Lemonade - 3 B’s Lemonade
· Most Unique Lemonade - Roland’s Lemonade
· Best Presentation - Great Place Lemonade
Participants have been asked to share a picture of their lemonade stand, which will be voted on at the Lemonade Day-Greater Killeen/Fort Hood Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LemonadeDayGKFH. The Best Stand winner will be announced at the end of the month.
While the participants can spend their hard-earned money on themselves, Torres said the participants are encouraged to spend some, save some and share some. They donate a percentage of their profits to a charity of their choice. Worldwide, more than $22 million has been given to charities thanks to Lemonade Day.
This year, several Fort Hood youth chose to donate to charities that have impacted their lives in personal ways. Some chose to donate to local charities, such as the Harker Heights Animal Shelter, Texas Humane Heroes, Operation Stand Down Central Texas, among others, while other participants chose to donate to larger charities, such as the Ronald McDonald House and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“While we do not tell participants who or where to donate, we encourage them to search their heart and think of an organization that speaks to them,” King said. “Most children will donate to organizations that have impacted their personal lives, such as the USO (United Services Organization), wounded warriors, animal shelters and some have gone as far as to create their own charity.”
For more information about the Fort Hood Area Lemonade Day, visit https://lemonadeday.org/fort-hood-area.