A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Lemonade stands: We should support them

Written March 31st, 2019 by Hasso Hering

On Salem Avenue Sunday afternoon, Kasara Koerntgen with her helpers “Nemesis,” holding the sign, and Scott Bradley.

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)

7 responses to “Lemonade stands: We should support them”

  1. Tim Siddiqui says:

    It truly is an Wonderful American tradition, Saying all is safe and well in the neighborhood.

  2. Tim Siddiqui says:

    Your header is a little confusing to me. I thought you wanted to ” stop ” lemonade stand business.

  3. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    I share your principled position on the important lessons learned by these kids.

    And I share your gut reaction against stupid rules and the bureaucracies that try to shut down lemonade stands.

    You and the kids may not have intended it, but this is also about a small act of civil disobedience, properly done.

    Bureaucratic “enforcers” are in every town. On occasion it’s appropriate to ignore and even disobey them as a form of public service.

  4. L. LaRosseau says:

    Without ongoing, clinically exacting health and cleanliness inspections, these unlicensed, uninsured, un-inspected and perhaps, un-American persons could well be selling listeria, e-coli, shigellosis, even cholera.
    While there may be something slightly admirable about certain narrow and tangential aspects of this story, the frightening negatives for society as a whole far outweigh any of the alleged “character building” benefits of an illicit food-sales operation.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      Pity the beleagured Google algorithm tracking sentiment on this issue under contract to the NSA. Does it account for today’s date? Can it distinguish people from sockpuppets?

    • Mo says:

      This April Fool’s? If not, seriously consider counseling. I think you have a phobia.

  5. Country Boy says:

    Or maybe they’re trying to subvert our “precious bodily fluids”. We read daily of the horrendous number of severe diseases, and even deaths of multitudes of Americans to these insidious pervert members of a secret society, bent on destroying our way of life by means of refreshments sold by supposedly innocent children. Lord knows if we didn’t have the ‘Progressive” members and politicians supervising every aspect of our lives we could never maintain our free, society.


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