IVAC to launch Lemonade Day on May 20

Program designed to promote youth entrepreneurship

The Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development has announced its inaugural Lemonade Day program on Saturday, May 2.

The Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development will host its inaugural Lemonade Day on Saturday, May 20.

As a movement committed to the power of youth entrepreneurship, Lemonade Day Illinois Valley encourages children to continue learning the valuable lessons offered through its program materials.

The Lemonade Day program is about more than just a lemonade stand. The program teaches life skills, such as business operations, responsibility, financial literacy, goal setting and teamwork with the end goal of starting, owning and operating a business.

The impact of a program such as Lemonade Day is four-fold: Teach financial literacy to children; promote entrepreneurship, which is key to jumpstart economic growth in the state; teach children to be responsible and self reliant, and to contribute to their community’s development; and foster mentorship and bring families together.

“When I first learned about this program, I immediately fell in love with it and knew as a chamber it was something we needed to bring to this area,” said Bill Zens, executive director of IVAC. “There are many programs out there targeted at our high school students but this allows for our younger generation to start forming good financial, team work and community focus habits much earlier. I am excited to pilot Lemonade Day this year and look forward to seeing it grow and impact more of our local youth in years to come. We were very lucky to form a partnership with the team at the Regional Office of Education to present this to the schools in District 35. We had great initial interest from the schools and business community.”

The Lemonade Day program’s mission is to help prepare youth for life through fun, proactive and experiential programs, according to said Debbie Nazarian, Lemonade Day national director.

The kickoff celebration and Youth Market will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at Country Kids, 426 S. Clark St., Utica. It will feature 18 youth entrepreneurs, from Waltham fifth grade, with nine businesses offering baked goods, handmade bracelets, trading cards and crafts, among other items.