A lot of us can remember setting up a lemonade stand or a Kool-Aid stand as kids.

I don’t know if anyone else ever made any money at it, but I know I didn’t. There wasn’t a lot of foot traffic on our out-of-the-way residential street, and not a lot of potential customers. But it was a learning experience.

I do remember how gratifying it was to make the occasional sale. Most of the customers were older neighbours. They were always kind, and shared their compliments on just how tasty and refreshing my lemonade was.

Respect is happy to support Lemonade Day, an initiative of northern Alberta’s Community Futures organizations. On Saturday, school-age participants will test their entrepreneurial skills by opening up lemonade stands for the day.

Through the program, they are taught the basics of operating a business—production, pricing, promotion, and customer service, to name a few. They get to keep the revenue they generate, and are encouraged to spend some, save some, and share some through charitable giving.

Some of the participants might go on to operate their own larger-scale businesses when they are older. I think it’s equally valuable to teach people how business works so they can be better-informed as consumers.

As Respect’s part of the initiative, we are offering these scaled-down businesses some advertising at scaled-down prices. We prepared a video with help from Community Futures St. Paul – Smoky Lake explaining why participants might—or might not—want to include paid advertising in their marketing strategies.

Have a look at the ads on page 6. Don’t be too surprised to find that a glass of lemonade costs more than a nickel these days! If you’d like to see where all of the stands are located, there is a map on the Lemonade Day Facebook page.

I’m looking forward to trying a lot of lemonade on Saturday. It’s my turn to be a kindly old customer, offering some encouragement and appreciation to a new generation of lemonade vendors.

Will you join me?