- Associated Press - Saturday, May 13, 2017

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) - We’ve all heard what to do when life gives us lemons.

On May 6, close to 300 kids in and around Fond du Lac took the old adage to a whole new level, USA Today Network-Wisconsin (https://fondul.ac/2pUoIWA ) reported.

Lemonade stands - about 80 in all - were open for business throughout the city as part of Lemonade Day, a community-wide event that invites youth in fourth through six grades to become entrepreneurs for a day.

While cars cruised down Main Street, 10-year-old Ruby Hughes hawked her wares.

“Get your ice-cold lemonade!” she called out. Nearby her classmate Danny Thomas, dressed in a giraffe costume, held a sign out to passersby - a means to perfecting his salesmanship, he said.

“I think we’re learning about collaboration, and things like advertising and how to work the cash box,” Ruby said.

The duo were part of a crew from the STEM Institute/Academy operating Surprise Lemonade stand, set up on South Main Street. Their plan: To earn $50 for the local homeless shelters.

Joe Thomas, Danny’s father, said preparing and participating in what has now become an annual event in Fond du Lac has been a great learning experience for his son.

“These kids did it all. They made the lemonade from scratch, learned a lot about time management and got the chance to experience life as a small business owner,” he said.

A secret ingredient was hard to keep secret at the Eazy Peezy Lemon Squeezy stand. Sibling grade schoolers Jared and Jessica Fields were working to raise money for First Baptist Church as well as for the homeless, with a spread that included homemade cookies and Chinese doughnuts.

“It’s pomegranate juice,” Jessica said of what makes their beverage stand out from the rest. The family rose at 6:30 a.m. to start preparing for the day, which included making signs, packing up the car and bringing along Jessica’s piggy bank to use as a tip jar.

Jared described how they made the juice by hand squeezing the lemons, then putting them through a strainer.

“We only want the best for our customers,” he said.

At Rock N’ Lemonade stand, set up near the corner of Main and Johnson streets, Jackson Goldapske and Abraham Mauer talked about how the money will help the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Both boys will be starting middle school next year in North Fond du Lac.

“Spend, save and share,” said Abraham, quoting what his school taught him about how the money earned should be divided three ways.

“We are doing this so when we grow up we know how to run a business and so we know how grownups really feel,” Jackson said.

Leading up to the event, students have been mentored through a workbook by a teacher, area business representative or guardian. The students learn about goal setting, expenses versus profit, marketing and teamwork.

Lemonade Day fosters self-esteem and mindsets that can propel youth to success, said Melissa Worthington, vice president of the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce.

“Watching how kids evolve over the course of the program and seeing what they come up with for their businesses is amazing. I think this program opens eyes and minds and inspires kids to think about their futures,” she said.

Lemonade Day is sponsored by donations from area businesses and organizations.

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Information from: The Reporter Media, https://www.fdlreporter.com

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