Elkhart kids use lemons to start small business

ELKHART For a third year, hundreds of kids throughout Elkhart County will take to the streets to compete for the title of best lemonade stand.

Elkhart County's Lemonade Day is a program designed to help instill small business values at an early age. Participants are required to set goals, create a business plan, find a sponsor or mentor and construct a stand.

7-year-old Ayva Jelinski is well on her way to competing for a top spot. With the help of Reach 360, a company in Elkhart, she's purchased the supplies to create her "Lemontastic Strawberry Lemonade."

"I make it with lemons, and I make strawberry syrup by sprinkling some sugar on my strawberries and then I just kind of mix it," said Jelinski.

Her goal is $100 in one day. She'll sell her strawberry lemonade for 85 cents a cup in front of Pumpernickels on Main Street, downtown Elkhart.

Kids will set up stands throughout Elkhart on Saturday, May 3. For a full map of locations, click here

Organizers say it's not just about the lemons or the sugar, or even the competition. Kids are learning lifelong values about business.

"It gets them ready for their future, learning about money, who to set goals how to save spend and share what they make," said Meggan Fink, the Lemonade Day event chair.

When it comes to the money, kids are encouraged to "save, spend and share." Most kids save most of their money, spend a small amount and donate what they can to an area organization.

The winner of 2013 donated part of the $1000 he earned to Riley Hospital for Children. This year, Ayva plans to donate to St. Margaret's house.

"I'm going to give it to kids who don't have toys," said Ayva.

For more information about Lemonade Day, click here for the local website.

Judges will decide the best tasting lemonade, the best stand and the best business plan on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Concord Mall.

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