Young entrepreneurs regionwide celebrate Lemonade Day
By Julia Lerner
The region’s youngest entrepreneurs celebrated Lemonade Day with sunshine and smiles on Saturday, June 26.
Across Nome, 48 lemonade stands popped up, including in Icy View. Lemonade Day is designed to give children the opportunity to learn about how businesses operate while also raising money for charitable and personal causes.
Nome’s young folks raised money for various organizations and personal reasons, including for the annual 8th grade Washington D.C. field trip and for local pet organizations. Amelia and Rosalie Richards, who set up their lemonade stand in Anvil City Square, sold leashes and dog treats to support their Critters’ Pet Store and Terry’s Pet Food Pantry in Nome, while several 8th graders sold homemade ornaments, candy, muffins and snowcones to raise money for their trip.
The Richards also brought entertainment with their stand and had pet goats available for feeding and petting.
Lemonade Day is a national organization designed to “help today’s kids become the business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow,” according to the group’s website. It was brought to Alaska by the Alaska Small Business Development Center, and hosted in the region by Kawerak, Inc. Organizing partners in each community help hundreds of children participate in cities across the state.
“You could feel the excitement in the air,” said Alice Bioff, Kawerak’s business planning specialist and Lemonade Day coordinator since 2012. “With over 200 participants regionwide, budding entrepreneurs all across the region opened for business just for a day.”
The COVID-19 pandemic halted preparations for last summer’s lemonade day, Bioff explained.
“This year during the registration process, parents shared that they were happy to see that the event would occur,” she said. “Regional Coordinators were excited to see registrations come in and the participants excited to start preparing their plans. Listening to parents’ and customers’ feedback, we can conclude the event was a success.”
While officially participants sell lemonade, many get creative with their snacks to attract more customers. On Saturday, several stalls sold reindeer stew, Indian tacos, moose chili and “Butterfly Pea” floral lemonade, while others served lemon-flavored cupcakes, popcorn balls, chips and other snacks.
Many stands sold out early in the day. Chevy and Presley Reader, who opened their stall at Q Trucking sold out of their pies, muffins, cookies and other baked goods within two hours of opening. The donated $500 of their earnings to support the Nome Animal House’s spay/neuter assistance fund.