Lemonade Day a success throughout region
Nome’s young entrepreneurs took advantage of a warm and sunny day on Saturday, June 10, to sell lemonade and other goods. The town alone had over 50 registered stands and almost double that number of participants come out for the sixth annual Lemonade Day.
Kawerak Business Planning Specialist Alice Bioff, who has coordinated Nome’s Lemonade Day since 2012, said this year was a success, not just in Nome but throughout the region. Though she has not had a chance to gather information on how many stands there were in the villages yet, Bioff estimates the number to be between 250 and 300.
Kawerak Workforce Development Specialist Brian James echoed Bioff’s sentiment, saying that the turnout was especially impressive because the event happened under short notice. However, since Lemonade Day has become an annual happening, “people are expecting it” James said, crediting Bioff with promoting it effectively and well.
Bioff said the Lemonade Day event is important because the free program teaches kids the concept of running their own businesses. The goal is for youth to learn about all that goes into the endeavor, from making the product to making change. Through their businesses, youth gain real life skills, such as setting goals, creating budgets and advertising, which give them a head start in life, not matter what career they choose to pursue.
Although it is called ‘Lemonade Day’, entrepreneurs are encouraged to be innovative. This also sparks a sense of competition, as each stand wants to stand out. This year, there was no shortage of creativity, with fry bread, blueberry delight, cakes and even fried rice being among the offerings.
Participants are even expected to keep business records of their costs and earnings and report them at the end of the day, Bioff said. To give young entrepreneurs incentive to track their transactions, Nome participants can enter a drawing for a bike.
But the day’s benefits go beyond the practical. Bioff noted that, even though the focus is on the children, Lemonade Day is really a family event. “It gets kids and parents outside,” she said, and brings people together, as parents and other relatives are often involved in building the stand and making the goods. “Kids have fun, which makes it successful,” Bioff said.
Bioff thanked Kawerak’s Lemonade Day partners, especially the volunteer coordinators in the villages. Wells Fargo held a “very instrumental” workshop for children and parents prior to the event. Other contributors include Nome Community Center, Nome Chamber of Commerce, Bering Air for flying supplies out to the villages and Steve Longley for driving the bus tour around Nome.