Is there any better way to ring in the summer season than with an ice cold glass of lemonade? Yes — if it’s served to you by a future Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey. At least that’s what Coxsackie’s Bob Phibbs hopes as he organizes Greene County’s first Lemonade Day.
Originally begun in Houston four years ago, Lemonade Day encourages children to start, own, and operate their own lemonade stand. Last year, a total of $5.3 million was raised by kids hawking lemonade nationwide (with $1.8 million of that amount donated back into the communities).
This year, Greene County plans to host the first Lemonade Day in New York State. A Facebook page about the event has received “incredible response” from families and business owners, say Phibbs; he is hoping for upwards of 500 participants.
Here’s how it works: Parents register their child either online or at one of several sign-up events (held in local schools and businesses). Children then receive a workbook that teaches them how to be an entrepreneur step-by-step: they find investors, draw up contracts, scout a location, taste-test their product, and even advertise their start-up. Kids are then encouraged to open a bank account with their earnings — and to spend a little, save a little, and donate some of their proceeds to local charities and nonprofits.
The May 1st event “provides the challenge of a real environment,” says Phibbs. “In 10 or 15 years someone is going to point back to this event and say, ‘It’s the first day I could go out and do something on my own.’ ”
Visit http://greenecounty.lemonadeday.org for more information.