III Corps chief of staff Col. Todd Fox kicked off the Lemonade Day weekend with the fourth annual III Corps Lemonade Day Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Friday afternoon at III Corps headquarters.
More than 200 children from Copperas Cove, Fort Hood, Killeen, Harker Heights and surrounding areas were expected to put up their uniquely-decorated stands to sell lemonade and other goodies during Lemonade Day Weekend May 5-6.
“You have kids that learn about entrepreneurship and philanthropy,” Fox said during his opening remarks. “It’s a great opportunity for the community and it grows every year.”
Fort Hood was the first military installation to actively promote Lemonade Day and is now the model for other military communities across the country.
“The great thing is that parents coach their kids through the entire process,” said Fox. “They finance the business and the kids have to earn the money to pay the parents back. That’s a lesson I’d like my kids to learn one day.”
Lemonade Day participants have spent the last few months learning how to start, own and operate their business. Participants are encouraged to spend a little, save a little and give a little of their profits. The young entrepreneurs especially wanted to give back to their community.
Joseph West planned to buy toys with his earnings to donate them to Santa’s workshop on Fort Hood.
“It teaches him how to raise money to make a difference,” his mother, Trisha Stutz, said. “And as a military child he knows that life can sometimes be very difficult.”
Thirteen-year-old Kane Elliott was excited to sell lemonade with his four siblings.
“I learned that there is a lot more that goes into business than you think and … as you get successful, you should just help out a little bit more,” Kane said.
The Elliott’s wanted to support a family in need with their earnings.
“We have a friend whose little girl is really sick … and there are a lot of medical expenses that are not covered by the insurance,” mother Maurine Elliott said. “Our ultimate goal is to help them out.”
Lemonade Day officials introduced a new feature for this year’s Lemonade Day weekend.
“We have been given kids Certificates of Occupancy from their local communities,” said Amanda Sequeira, Lemonade Day city director. “It just shows them that we are taking their business seriously.”
But Lemonade Day is much more than making money.
“It’s about business, how to be forward-thinkers and how to be influencers in our society,” Sequeira said.