Between Soldotna, Kenai and Homer over 20 little entrepreneurs took to the streets and parking lots of the Kenai Peninsula May 5th for the Peninsula's first Lemonade Day. The cool, cloudy, windswept weather didn't chill the enthusiasm of kids who had prepared to leap into the free enterprise system with investors, cost analysis, profit margins, and marketing plans. At the entrance to Soldotna Creek Park the partnership of Chase Keating and Hudson Jackson created "C & H Lemonheads" with their stand constructed from all recycled materials, featuring bio-degradable cups and pledging ten percent of their profits for the day to the Kenai Animal Shelter. "We got the idea of being lemonheads off the internet and made the heads from paper machete and blankets wrapped over our bike helmets. They were great for advertising and were warm too," said 10-year-old Chase. "We got the raspberry flavor from my moms real raspberry jam that she made from the berries we picked in our garden last summer. The money we don't give to the animal shelter we plan on saving for next year after we pay back our investors," Hudson Jackson told the Dispatch in an interview along the Sterling Highway in Soldotna where they were waving in customers.
Over at Beemun's Variety in the back of their parking lot Brothers Joshua and Ethan Tree set a tent over their stand to keep the rain off and added homemade cookies to their menu, "I trying to earn money to buy a kayak," said 9-year-old Joshua, "I'll have to sell a lot but we have cookies too," he added. "I'm talking to people in the parking lot to tell them to come and buy some lemonade and I want to buy a vehicle," said Joshua's 6-year-old brother Ethan. According to the brothers mom Julie the boys got inspired when listening to the St. Jude Hospital radiothon recently, "The week prior to Lemonade Day we were listening to the St. Jude Radiothon and Joshua asked what St. Jude's was all about and he thought that was really cool so we decided we were going to donate a portion of our proceeds to St. Jude's. It made for a fun family day we baked the cookies at home this morning and business is actually better than we expected being as cold as it is today. It has been a learning experience for all of us the whole program is truly amazing, we went to the store and priced cups and all the ingredients to figure out the best recipe that tasted good but that we could also afford to sell at a profit with lemons being a dollar a piece, but he figured it out and got really excited," she explained.
According to event coordinator January Yaeger with the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and Johna Beech of the Kenai Chamber the day was even more successful than anticipated. "Each stand reports their earnings to Houston so it'll be awhile before we know the exact totals, but we know one stand earned more than $226 dollars I would guess that about 90% of all the stands gave some of their earnings to a charity of their choice. Most had goals to make over $100 and to pay their investors back, but we were thrilled with the results and are planning to grow the event next year and hope for some warmer weather," said Yaeger.