Instead of turning lemons into lemonade, children are encouraged to turn them into a money-making operation.

Chick-fil-A in Harker Heights held a Lemonade Day kickoff event March 7, giving children in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade the chance to register their stands as well as participate in a lemon-squeezing contest and creating a lemon to place on the Trueet Tree.

“I just squeezed, squeezed, squeezed the lemons because I always want to win,” said Chasity Alaniz, 10, about how she won the lemon-juicing contest.

Lemonade Day is a free learning program that teaches youth how to start, own and operate their own business — a lemonade stand.

“This is a great opportunity to teach young children how to be entrepreneurs,” said Heather Cox, volunteer coordinator for the Greater Killeen/Fort Hood Lemonade Day activity committee. “They are the future of our country and we need to foster that growth.”

First National Bank Texas and Fort Hood National Bank introduced Lemonade Day to the community in 2010. The foremost objective of Lemonade Day is to empower youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society — the business leaders, social advocates, volunteers and forward thinking citizens of tomorrow.

Each child who registers receives a backpack with a workbook that teaches them the 14 lessons of Lemonade Day, such as creating budgets, setting profit-making goals, serving customers, repaying investors and giving back to the community, Cox said. Along the way, they acquire skills in goal-setting, problem-solving and gain self-esteem critical for future success. They keep all the money they make and are encouraged to spend some, save some and share some.

On May 4, Harker Heights will open city parks for participants to sell lemonade.

The next lemonade event at Chick-fil-A is from 5 to 7 p.m. March 21.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

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