As a matter of principle, I stop at kids’ lemonade stands whenever I see one. The end of March seemed kind of early for this summertime tradition, but there it was on Sunday, on Salem Avenue, so I had to get off the bike and buy a cup of what they had.
The stand — “Lema-Go” — was organized by Kasara Koerntgen, a ninth-grader at West Albany High School. The sign said the stand’s earnings would be going to 4-H and the Wounded Warrior project, plus to pay her helpers and “getting more stuff for Lema-Go.”
The drinks were a dollar, or $1.50 for a special kind, and just 50 cents for veterans. I paid my dollar and enjoyed a regular lemonade, just the thing in the middle of a ride, even in early spring.
In recent years, in Oregon and across the country, though not in Albany as far as I know, kids’ lemonade stands have become the occasional targets of public-health enforcers. Stands have been shut down for lack of licenses of the kind required of adult businesses selling food to the public.
In Texas, this prompted the state House of Representatives on March 20 to vote 144-2 in favor of a bill (HB 234) legalizing lemonade stands run by children under 18. The bill has the support of the Texas governor, Gregg Abbott, and is now pending in the Senate there.
Foxnews.com quoted George P. Bush, the land commissioner of Texas and nephew of George W. Bush, on the merits of lemonade stands and the kids who run them: “Can’t think of anything more basic, more entrepreneurial, more creative for a child to begin the idea of learning the value of a dollar.”
The kids on Salem Avenue already know this. One of Kasara’s helpers, Scott Bradley, let me know that he has an art business. “I am a local illustrator/artist,” he then told me in an email after I had left my card at the stand. “I am also a cartoonist.” Scott is 11.
Lemonade is not the only reason to stop at those stands. The main reason is to acknowledge the vendors’ initiative. All it costs is a dollar, but I think the value is much greater than that. (hh)