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Lemonade Day Draws Young Entrepreneurs
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Offering cooling drinks topped with ice cubes and lemon slices on a broiling afternoon, Lemonade Day saw at least a couple of stands set up in Riverbank on Saturday. One was run by two elementary school girls (and their parents) outside O'Brien's Market and another was operated by several Riverbank High students at Jacob Myers Park.

Six-year-old Chloe Beard and her sister Emily Hewitt, 10, labeled their booth outside O'Brien's simply "2 Girls." They and their parents Mark and Kelly Beard are from Modesto. But Kelly works at O'Brien's and won a drawing to run the stand.

She said another was operating at the O'Brien's Market in Modesto because the firm was a sponsor of the campaign.

Chloe and Emily were selling their drinks for 50 cents apiece. They intended to donate the proceeds to the Stanislaus County animal shelter. Their mother said the Lemonade Day campaign allowed them to keep the money, but that was not the lesson she wanted the girls to learn.

At Jacob Myers Park, City Recreation Supervisor Kerrie Webb reported, several members of the Teen Action Committee had set up a booth to sell lemonade at $1 a cup, which they planned to put back into the committee's funds.

They had raised $28 by closing time but might have made more if they had stayed on a while, she reasoned. Opening the booth at 10 a.m., they shut down about 1:30 p.m. when park visitors were still arriving. Although the summer weekend parking fee of $5 a car was in effect, lemonade buyers were not charged.

Announced by the city council several weeks ago, Riverbank's Lemonade Day coincided with that of Modesto, whose city director claimed they had registered over 1,000 youth in Modesto and other Stanislaus County cities to sell lemonade that day.

The official date for this annual, nationwide event, started by a Texan non-profit group in 2007, is in August.

Sponsors argue the free program encourages K-12 youth to start, own and operate their own business; create budgets, secure investors, select a site, serve customers and set profit making goals.

By starting their own business, children learn valuable entrepreneurial skills, character development and financial freedom, according to Lemonade Day proponents.