By Brenda L. Holmes
— The State Bank of Lizton’s 10 branches will be helping to register children to participate in Lemonade Day, this year scheduled for May 18.
Lemonade Day is a free program designed to empower children to become entrepreneurs. The program first launched in 2007 by native Hoosier and Houston-based businessman Michael Holdhouse. Scott Jones brought Lemonade Day to Indianapolis in 2010. It’s now operating in more than 40 cities around the country.
This year, the State Bank of Lizton has decided to help facilitate the program by being a registration site. Children can go to any of the SBL locations in Hendricks or Boone counties to register and get a free backpack.
Inside each backpack is the “Entrepreneur’s Workbook” which they use to prepare for Lemonade Day. They work through the lessons at home. Then, on May 18, the children get to set up “shop” at the various SBL locations and become lemonade “tycoons.”
Participants keep the money they earn but they’re also taught through the program to “spend a little, save a little, and share a little.”
SBL will be sponsoring Jami Marsh of the Think Forward Foundation, which is the Lemonade Day program, to speak at the March 20 Brownsburg Chamber meeting.
“This program is a lot of work but it’s a lot of fun too,” Marsh said. “The program has really exploded. The first year we had it in Indianapolis we had 7,500 kids register. This year our goal is to get 20,000 registered. It has gotten pretty big, pretty fast.”
SBL representatives will also be handing out backpacks at the Hendricks County Home & Garden Show March 22 and 23 and at the Boone County Home & Garden Show April 18-20.
“We will be having our own lemonade stand with employees, kids, and grandkids at the Relay for Life events in Brownsburg and Lebanon on May 18,” said Rhonda Wiles, vice president of marketing and community relations director for the bank.
Backpacks are also available at the Avon-Washington Township Public Library, Brownsburg Public Library, Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library, and at guest services at Metropolis Mall in Plainfield.
Metropolis will also be hosting stands on Lemonade Day.
“We have a good number of locations where kids can register in Hendricks County,” Marsh said.
In 2012, the Greater Indianapolis Lemonade Day registered 15,000 children and sold 1,534,459 cups of lemonade. The total gross revenue was $2,409,480 and $800,863 of that went to charity.
Marsh said the Lemonade Day program has added a new component this year to help children find non-profits to partner with.
“Many kids don’t know who they want to share their profits with,” she said. “So we’re hosting a workshop and inviting local non-profits to set up booth space. Kids will be able to walk around and learn about the different non-profits. This way they can make an informed decision on where to donate their profits.”
The workshop is 6 p.m. April 9 at the Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis.
“They have a huge space,” Marsh said. “Any non-profit can come and set up a booth. There is no RSVP required.”
Also new this year is a “seed money” fund for participants. As any entrepreneur knows, it takes money to start a business. She said most children get their funds from parents, family, or friends.
“Even if they’re going to use a table from home, they’ll need to purchase the lemonade from the store to sell,” she said. “The kids just need to submit a two-minute video — nothing too elaborate a phone video will do — to tell us how they will use the money. It’s a great lesson for the kids. Even if they don’t go on to start their own business as adults. They will one day have to ‘pitch’ something for any job.”
Every child who submits a video will receive at least $10 for seed money for the lemonade stand.
“If kids do a really great job on their video and want to do bigger things with their stand, they may receive more seed money,” Marsh said. “This part of the program is an experiment. We’re not sure how it will go. But getting seed money is an important part of the process. We’ve raised $5,000 for the seed fund and hope to raise $10,000. We have the money — kids just need to apply for it.”
For more information, visit the website at indianapolis.lemonadeday.org or visit it on Facebook.