Lemonade Day Fort Hood hosted a “Sweet Success” banquet in Killeen Thursday night to celebrate 10 years of Lemonade Day in the Fort Hood area.

In 2010, First National Bank Texas and Fort Hood National Bank banded together to bring the first Lemonade Day to the area, and it’s now the first chapter to achieve a 10-year anniversary within the organization.

“This organization is truly impactful in ways that maybe you don’t even realize ... Lemonade Day is one of those programs that can fix a big problem,” said special guest speaker and Lemonade Day President Steven Gordon regarding the lack of new businesses entering the market in today’s economy.

He said encouraging a young generation of entrepreneurs could be the solution.

Lemonade Day participants are typically between the third and fifth grade.

About 150 guests, including children, gathered in Warrior Hall at Texas A&M University-Central Texas for the lemon-themed event, complete with dinner served by waitstaff in lemon-colored bowties, a roving lemon character, balloon artists and a cake donated by Lily’s Cakes.

“In 10 years we’ve seen thousands of youth, over 20,000 in fact, make the choice to set a goal, make a plan, work the plan, and achieve their dream,” said Amanda Sequeira, the local Lemonade Day city director. “To our Lemonade Day entrepreneurs, you inspire us with your creativity, your dedication and your heart.”

There are over $62,000 reported profits. And $22,951 has been donated to charitable causes, Sequeira said, citing the organization’s accomplishments.

Lemonade Day is intended to help younger generations flourish in entrepreneurship. Every year in May, kids set-up lemonade stands across the country, in Canada, Puerto Rico, and Africa to learn and get hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, financial literacy, personal development, problem solving, goal setting and more.

Kids who participate in Lemonade Day are eight times more likely to start a business by high school. Only 4 percent of all kids in the U.S. will start a business by the time they finish high school, yet 31 perecent of kids who participate in Lemonade Day will have started their own business, said Gordon.

There are currently over 80 Lemonade Day participating locations and Gordon projects that by 2023, there will be over 220.

A few Lemonade Day success stories were present, such as Emma Rose Gill and Briana Liles who were also guest speakers. Lemonade Day contest winners were recognized during the ceremony and given commemorative coins to take with them.

Gill, who began participating in Lemonade Day at 7 years old, spoke to the crowd about her entrepreneurship successes and how she donated her Lemonade Day proceeds to Fort Hood’s Fisher House, which provides a place to stay for military families dealing with medical issues.

At the age of 14, Gill is a model, owns her own film production company, has raised and donated over $10,000 to charitable causes, designs clothing, is working on writing books and more.

Go to FortHood.LemonadeDay.org to learn more, become a sponsor or to register for Lemonade Day on May 4-5, 2019.

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