HOUSTON — Lemonade Day, a well-established global youth entrepreneurship program that teaches leadership and business skills by encouraging children to launch a lemonade business in their community, joins the Department of Defense in proudly celebrating and supporting military children throughout the month of April.

Sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, the Month of the Military Child honors and applauds more than one million active-duty dependent military children worldwide for their courage, the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome. Established in 1986, the Month of the Military Child is part of the legacy left by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.

Several activities are planned throughout April in the Fort Hood-Killeen communities for Month of the Military Child. Schools may have programs, and local businesses are known to offer special discounts.

Lemonade Day Fort Hood Area has scheduled a Design-a-Stand event at Fort Hood that will be hosted by Fort Hood Family Housing and will feature Maria Reed. Reed was named 2019 Armed Forces Insurance Army Spouse of the Year and is the creator of “Moving with the Military” Web TV series.

Reed will have several do-it-yourself stations to help kids and their parents create cost-conscious decorations for

their own lemonade stand. She will also demonstrate how to build stands. All military families at Fort Hood are invited to this Design-a-Stand event on April 13 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bronco Youth Center. Registration is live on Eventbrite.

Military Connection to Lemonade Day

Lemonade Day was first introduced to military children at Fort Hood in 2009 after First National Bank Texas and Fort Hood National Bank had the vision to sponsor and launch a brand-new program that had the potential to change the lives of kids. Amanda Sequeira, vice president community engagement for the bank, currently serves as Lemonade Day City Director and is also a Lemonade Day National board member.

According to Steven Gordon, Lemonade Day National president, Lemonade Day’s lessons and resources become an integral part of a child’s identity and helps them achieve increased confidence. He notes that the early success and positive influence of Lemonade Day in the Killeen-Fort Hood area has become the barometer and model for launching Lemonade Day in the cities that have followed in their footsteps. He credits Nieomi King, marketing and communications manager for Fort Hood Family Housing — who served on the Lemonade Day Fort Hood Area advisory council — for her inspiration to help

other military families experience Lemonade Day. As a result, the Military Lemonade Day program was formed in 2017 with the support of Lendlease, parent company for Fort Hood Family Housing.

“The collaboration between Lendlease and Lemonade Day National provided the opportunity to share this experiential entrepreneurship program with other military bases and bring military families together in a meaningful way,” said King. “Military children have a natural propensity towards entrepreneurship by the environment in which they are raised. Through their distinctive experiences, they learn to adapt to change, embrace adversity and solve problems. These are qualities many successful entrepreneurs exhibit.”

Sequeira notes that military kids face unique challenges, including parent deployments and a mobile lifestyle that requires leaving current friends, making new friends and reintegration into new cities and schools.

“Their resiliency and maturity to process these disruptions is extraordinary, and the festivities during the month of April are an opportunity to pause and celebrate them,” Sequeira said. “The Lemonade Day program teaches children to take their lemonade stand profits and spend some, save some and share some. I’m always humbled that many military children donate a portion of their profits to organizations benefitting soldiers and their families — organizations that may have helped their own families.”

Reed is an inspiration to parents and children she has taught over the years. Her own entrepreneurial journey began with a lemonade stand, she said.

“I remember talking with my parents about different lemonade flavors and cookies that would be so amazing no one could resist stopping by my stand to get a cool, refreshing drink and pick up a sweet treat. I think back to that time and smile, because I believe that my lemonade stand experience set in motion the entrepreneurial spirit I have today,” Reed said. “I’m very excited to share my design experience and career as a teacher to help kids build something that may inspire their own entrepreneurial journey. This year’s Month of the Military Child, as well as Lemonade Day on post, will be amazing.”

Lemonade Day Fort Hood Area will be held the weekend of May 4 and 5. For more information on locations celebrating the Lemonade Day season and to register a child in the United States, Canada and other regions, go to lemonadeday.org/find-your-city.

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