KILLEEN (April 27, 2013) Twelve lemonade stands lined a sidewalk next to the Killeen Community Center.
Children were busy mixing, blending and pouring their lemonade concoctions for a special tasting contest. "I am ready and one hundred percent sure that I will win," said James Moss, lemonade tasting contest participant. Moss had won last year and was hoping to win again.
The lemonade tasting was a kick off for the upcoming Lemonade Day to be held May 5.
In 2007, founder Michael Holthouse had a vision to empower today's youth to become tomorrow's entrepreneurs through helping them start, own and operate their very own business, a lemonade stand.
Lemonade Day is a strategic 14-step process that walks youth from a dream to a business plan.
"The lemonade stand is such familiar past time in our country," said Amanda Stephen, head of Lemonade Day for greater Killeen and Fort Hood. "Taking a popular past time like that and combining it with valuable business skills and lessons… I think it is a win, win."
Stephen says that there are over 2,000 kids registered for Lemonade Day and hopes to have the number increase to 2,500 or more.
Next Sunday, kids will set up shop throughout the community in Copperas Cove, Fort Hood, Killeen and Harker Heights.
Participants choose their location and hours of operation.
They also can go to the website www.forthood.lemonadeday.org where they can build their own webpage and advertise where their stand is going to be.
Six judged went from stand to stand looking for the Best overall tasting, Best Presentation and Most Unique. "It helps me know how to run a business when I get older so I wont like be fidgety or don't know what I'm doing," said Dasani Vaughters, who is participating in the contest with the Ira Cross Elementary Honor Society.
We teach them the concept of spend a little, save a little, give a little," said Stephen.
"You know, spend a little on themselves because they work hard, but then introduce them to saving at an early age. And then the most important which is to give back to the community that has come out to support you."
"My theme is dogs cause I'm going to give all the money to the no-kill animal shelter in Killeen," said Emma Gill, lemonade tasting contest participant.
Those participating in Lemonade Day got a backpack containing a booklet for the child to learn about how to strategize.
There is also an entrepreneur book for the parent or a caring adult that can guide them through the steps, according to Chastity Clemons, who sits on the Lemonade Day Board.
"Their responsibility is to make their own stands and lemonade," said Clemons. "They must find an investor, promote their business and find a location.
Anyone can be an investor from a business to even a family member. Part of the agreement with the investor is that they pay the investor back. They are learning the real insides of owning your own business."
Winning best tasting lemonade was Oyric Dixon.
She said her ingredients were strawberries, vanilla and lemonade.