ELKHART — Zachariah Hunt thinks lemonade should be a perfect balance of sweet and sour.
That’s what the Pinewood Elementary sixth-grader is aiming for with the lemonade he’s selling Saturday, May 4, for Elkhart’s Lemonade Day.
Lemonade Day is a national program that began in 2007. This is the second year for the event in Elkhart.
“We have three different types of lemonade,” explained Hunt Thursday night, May 2, during a Lemonade Day awards ceremony at Concord Mall. “We have lime, the normal and berry. The normal is very good — it’s right between sweet and sour, which I consider as the best way to make lemonade.”
Hunt is manning a lemonade stand with two of his classmates, Trevonte Hunt and Ian Efsits. They are participating in Lemonade Day as a class project.
A panel made up of local judges determined the “best-tasting lemonade” and “best lemonade stand” winners Thursday. Taking first place in both categories was Alex Long. Second place for best stand went to Makenzie and Bailee Stalker, and second place for best lemonade went to Adeline Hawkins, Cadence Lee, and Hope Leonard. Harrison Harte won third place for best stand, and Madelin Lapp, Ariana Arce and Abigail Maskill won third place for best-tasting lemonade.
All of the winners took home trophies and gift certificates.
Lemonade Day board member Ryon Wheeler, who was also involved in the event last year, said the program is all about entrepreneurship.
“We often want to get caught up in doing for our kids, but (Lemonade Day) is teaching kids to do for themselves,” said Wheeler. “In the business world, nothing is going to be handed to you.”
Wheeler added that the event is a good way to get kids used to interacting with adults.
“Now, in the digital world, sometimes kids don’t know how to interact face-to-face,” said Wheeler. “This can help them learn to talk to adults.”
Another group planning to sell lemonade Saturday has already worked through some challenges. Adeline Hawkins, Hope Leonard, and Cadence Lee — also Pinewood Elementary students — said that they wanted to park their lemonade stand near Martin’s Super Market. The girls had to come up with a plan B when they found out that their stand goes against the store’s policy. They later decided to sell outside a popular antique shop owned by a family member of one of the girls.
The girls will be donating part of the proceeds from their stand to the Wounded Warriors Project.
Donating to a charity is a big part of what Lemonade Day is all about.
Local organizer Meggan Patty said the kids are encouraged to “save a little, spend a little, and share a little.”
“Part of Lemonade Day is making kids aware of money, and making money, and what it takes to run a business,” said Patty.
After sales are tallied on Saturday, participants fill out a results form and turn it in to Mini Delights Bake Shoppe in downtown Elkhart, and in return they will receive a free mini cupcake. The forms will be used to plan next year’s event, said Patty.
“(The results forms) give us a good idea of where the kids’ hearts are, and how successful they were,” said Patty.
The most successful stand will win the title of “best business.”
“The target age for Lemonade Day is first through sixth grade,” said Patty. “That’s the age that kids are really learning about math and about geography. We told them they can set up their stand wherever they want, but they have to figure out where the best place would be. It’s taking a lot of things they are learning in school and just bringing that together. It’s also so they can make a little money and go buy the new Barbie or Xbox they might have had their eye on.”
Amish Shah, of Elkhart, who spearheaded bringing Lemonade Day to Elkhart, said that he enjoys seeing kids from last year’s event coming back for more.
“We have a lot of returning kids, and a lot of new ones,” said Shah at Thursday’s award ceremony. “This year the schools have really been a part of it, and that helps.”
He continued, “I really feel that Elkhart is such an entrepreneurial community. To bring that to kids at a young age, that’s what our community needs. There’s nothing better than watching a kid make his first dollar.”
Shah said that based on the support he’s seen for Lemonade Day locally, the event will continue “for a very long time.”
Interested kids can still sign up for Lemonade Day. To register or for more information visit the Elkhart Lemonade Day’s Facebook page or the website, www.elkhart.lemonadeday.org.