HARKER HEIGHTS — The seventh annual Best Tasting Lemonade Contest on Saturday drew 14 entries plus a large crowd to the Heights Community Park. The event was the warmup exercise for Lemonade Day set for May 1.
The Chamber of Commerce kicked off the event with a ribbon-cutting and presented a certificate at each lemonade stand.
“Look at these stands and the product these kids are producing,” said Gina Pence, president and CEO for the Chamber. “This works because I know of at least one who has competed and went on to create a successful business.”
A select group of children of various ages competed Saturday by setting up booths and offering samples of their lemonade creations to the crowd and to a group of VIP judges.
The judges were Elizabeth Blackstone, Killeen EDC president; Rob Robinson, mayor of Harker Heights; Frank Seffrood, mayor of Copperas Cove; Col. Todd Fox, garrison commander at Fort Hood; Marlena Hamilton, KWTX-TV; and Rudy Gill, manager of the H-E-B Plus Store.
The judges’ decision came down to: Best Overall Tasting — Delilah Salas, 6; Most Unique Lemonade — Piper Thomson, 5, and Lane Sopko, 9; and Best Lemonade Presentation — Ryan, 8, Trinity, 12, Michelle, 14, and Alyssa Wilfong, 15.
The Best Tasting Day was sponsored by H-E-B and has since it began. “They are a great resource for the kids as they prepare for the big day. They award gift cards to the top three winners so they can use that money to buy the items they need to stir up their lemonade creations,” said Amanda Stephens, Lemonade Day city director.
The idea behind Lemonade Day is to introduce the kids to the world of business.
“They learn to design a plan, set goals and decide how to reach those goals. Deciding what kind of lemonade they want to serve is first but then comes the question of how do they make that happen,” Stephens said.
Parents have said that this is also a great way to teach their children about engaging with adults. There’s a host of customer service lessons to be learned.
On May 1, these young entrepreneurs will be actually selling their lemonade.
There will be a list of the locations on the website: http://forthood.lemonadeday.org.
A map will show where the children are, their lemonade flavor, hours of operation and gives the kids a way to advertise.
Randi Davis, 12, a student at Palo Alto Middle School, served up “Lemonade Circus” and has already selected her flavor for next year.
“I wanted this to help me learn how to start a business. I want to own a modeling agency,” Davis said.
Lemonade Day is a free, community-wide program that is part of a national initiative dedicated to teaching children, prekindergarten through high school, how to start their own business. In this case, a lemonade stand.
In addition to H-E-B, First National Bank and Fort Hood National Bank along with Fort Hood Family Housing and Century Link presented Lemonade Day.
R.J. Landin, 9, said his dad, Jonathan Benton, helped him build what he called “The Awesome Stand.”
“I want to be a scientist,” Landin said.
“Making up the lemonade became a chemistry lesson as he created lemonade infused with apple,” according to his mom, Tiffany.
A quote that was to be used by each participant was, “There’s no such thing as a perfect lemonade but there is such a thing as a great lemonade, and that’s mine.”
Competitor Emma Rose Gill, 11, is one example of a student who has taken Lemonade Day to the next level. She’s been to the contest twice and in the meantime has created a television production company, Rainbow Rose Productions. She produced a commercial about this year’s Lemonade Day, and it’s been airing on KWTX News 10.