Local Group Backs Lemonade Stands... at $5,000




Come spring, if you sidle up for an ice cold lemonade in a styrofoam cup, keep in mind that the lemonade stand you frequent may be part of a grant subsidized, franchise conglomerate. A national group has given rise to Lemonade Day and incentivized youngsters to get serious about their citrus.

Thanks to a grant from the Hudson-based Burton D. Morgan Foundation, any Northeast Ohio child or group is free to participate in Lemonade Day, a nationwide effort to ensure that all of America’s children become disillusioned Marxists before puberty.

So far, Parma City Schools, University School, Wooster public schools, and Emmanuel Christian Academy in Akron are on board to strew an inordinate number of lemonade stands throughout their neighborhoods on May 1.

These aren’t ordinary enterprises, of course. The kids running them must have a business plan, woo investors, build a stand, devise a marketing strategy, and resist the age-old temptation to snarf down all the juice themselves. At the end of the day, investors are paid back, and a portion of each stand’s proceeds must be given to a community cause.

The problem? There is a $5,000 licensing fee for any individual school, community, or Cub Scout troop wanting to participate. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation negotiated with Lemonade Day’s non-profit parent company to pay one fee that covers a 14-county area, most likely including yours.

“A lot of smaller schools and communities can’t raise that much money. We did the grant in order to get them over that $5,000 hump,” says Leslie Nelson, Morgan’s director of programs. The foundation also picked up Northeast Ohio’s tab for 2012.

For those who miss out on this year’s action, an equally valuable lesson in entrepreneurship can be had by noting the merit of inventing a company that charges kids $5,000 to sell lemonade

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