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Kenai Peninsula hosts first Lemonade Day

Kenai and Soldotna businesses will have new additions Saturday — lemonade stands.

The Kenai Peninsula is gearing up to host the first lemonade day on the Peninsula, and the second one ever in the state.

More than 100 kids will set up shop at more than 20 businesses in Kenai and Soldotna, and even Homer, said January Yeager, from the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and the event’s coordinator for the area said. Johna Beech from the Kenai Chamber of Commerce is also helping coordinate the Peninsula event. Saturday’s lemonade day is part of Lemonade Day Alaska, with nine other communities across the state participating.

“The whole reason this was started was to teach kids what it’s like to open your own business and teach them how to be a business leader and how to use the money they make,” Yeager said.

There’s a certain nostalgia with lemonade stands, Yeager said, and they’re easy for kids to operate.

“We all had one, so I guess the tradition carries on, it never goes out of fashion,” Yeager said. “It gives kids an opportunity to sell other things too, a lot of kids here make their own stuff — pottery, jewelry and that sort of thing.” 

Yeager said kids will learn how to spend or save money they earned themselves, which is different than spending money received for allowance. Whatever the kids make at their stand is theirs to keep, whether they want to save it, spend it or donate it to charity. But first, Yeager said, the kids have to pay their investors back.

“If mom or dad or a teacher or a group leader put in their money to buy the supplies, pay them back first,” Yeager said. 

The event will also help teach kids how to market their businesses by coming up with slogans, or finding out a way to set themselves apart from the competition. It could be something like all of the stand’s materials are recycled, or all of the proceeds are going to charity, Yeager said as examples.

Lemonade Day Alaska received a grant from the Kauffman Foundation for $2,500, that will allow each participant to receive a backpack with a workbook that will teach kids about business, and have activities to teach them about marketing, Yeager said. There’s also a workbook included for parents.

The event will be all day Saturday, with the kids determining their hours, Yeager said. Each stand will be listed on the event’s website, alaska.lemonadeday.org.

The idea of lemonade day was started in Houston, Texas by Michael Holthouse in 2007. Yeager said last year there were 120,000 kids participating in 31 cities across the country.

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