Turning lemons into lemonade and turning ideas into new businesses – it’s all happening next month when Lemonade Day comes to the Wabash Valley.

Organizers of the one-day event hope as many as 500 kids in the Wabash Valley will open lemonade stands on May 19.

Lemonade Day is part of a national program started by 1980 Indiana State University graduate Michael Holthouse and his wife, Lisa, founders of Prepared 4 Life, a Houston-based not-for-profit designed to help kids gain skills to succeed in life and overcome obstacles.

Lemonade Day “teaches the kids all of the aspects of starting their own business,” said Courtney Richey, city director for the Lemonade Day program and an employee of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Kids participating in Lemonade Day will receive a free backpack, tips on constructing a lemonade stand and other items.

Most importantly, the backpack will also contain a Lemonade Day notebook showing kids all of the steps needed to successfully launch their lemonade stand businesses.

“They’ll set up all over the Wabash Valley,” Richey said.

A workshop for the kids and their parents will take place in May. At that workshop, kids will be able to ask questions about the program and get some important advice, Richey said.

Lemonade Day organizers will also reward the kids with the best business plans with the top-notch locations for their lemonade stands, such as at Baesler’s Market, Richey noted.

SMWC and Frontier Communications are the primary sponsors for Lemonade Day in the Wabash Valley. This is the first year the program will have been conducted here, but Lemonade Day has been gaining popularity nationwide since starting in Houston in 2007.

On Monday night, sponsors and community partners for the first Wabash Valley Lemonade Day were treated to a kickoff event at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum.

Part of the program involved a lemonade contest featuring special recipes designed by a few of the more-than-a-dozen sponsoring organizations, such as Garmong Construction Services, Ivy Tech Community College, the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, the Terre Haute Young Leaders and SMWC. The lemonade prepared by Frontier Communications, “On Blue Berry Hill,” won the contest by raising the most donations for the program.

For more information about Lemonade Day, visit the organization’s website at www.terrehaute.lemonadeday.org. Registration can be done online or at the Vigo County Public Library, the Booker T. Washington Community Center or the St. Mary-of-the-Woods’ Rooney Library.

Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

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