Lemonade Day coming to Modesto on Saturday

pclark@modbee.comMay 16, 2013 

If you're out and about Saturday and find yourself craving a nice cold, summery drink, the children of Modesto will have you covered.

That's because Saturday is Lemonade Day, the second annual event that simultaneously teaches youngsters how to become entrepreneurs and quenches the thirst of the city's residents.

It's also a chance to impart on youths another important life lesson, according to Russ Hayward, interim executive director of Modesto's United Cerebral Palsy, the group that brought Lemonade Day to the city: the idea of giving back and "to understand their role as contributing members of society."

"Those values are important to Lemonade Day," Hayward said.

Lemonade Day is a nationwide program started in Houston in 2007 by a nonprofit organization there. The program now involves more than 35 cities and 160,000 kids across the country.

Organizers provide registered children with all the basics on how to become entrepreneurs — from creating a business plan to finding investors, to building their lemonade stands to marketing and selling their product.

Those stands will pop up all over the city and children will peddle their sweet, citrusy drinks from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Modesto UCP brought Lemonade Day to the city for the first time last year and reported resounding success: 1,027 youths participated in 2012, with more than 400 lemonade stands set up, organizers reported last month.

Although children can keep their profits, the Lemonade Day credo of "spend some, save some, share some" prompted last year's participants to donate an estimated $15,000 to the community in cash, goods or service.

"What we're really hoping to achieve — and the whole purpose for Lemonade Day — is to prepare children, through a simple act, to develop skills to use in the future," Hayward said. "The bottom line is, after all is said and done, how do they responsibly use the money they make?"

Lemonade Day stands also will pepper the city of Merced on Saturday, though Modesto and Humboldt County are the only California communities listed as participating in the event, according to the national website, www.lemonadeday.com.

Although many cities held their events May 5 — deemed the official Lemonade Day — any sponsoring locale can choose their date.

Bee staff writer Pat Clark can be reached at pclark@modbee.com.

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