Juice mix, water and a citywide network of junior lemon squeezers eager to turn lemonade into cold, hard cash. Those are the ingredients that go into making Lemonade Stand Day on August 29, the eighth edition of the annual campaign to raise funds for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation while teaching youth about business and entrepreneurship.
Lemonade Stand Day’s story begins in 2014, exactly where you would expect it to start: a humble lemonade stand. A lemonade stand belonging to Monita Chapman’s two daughters to be exact, which opened at a neighbourhood garage sale and closed with a $76 profit. For the two budding entrepreneurs, the sum was a fortune.
“I was like, what are they gonna do with $76?” Chapman says. “So we donated it back to the Stollery. And that’s how [Lemonade Stand Day] was created.”
Inspired by her daughters’ enterprise — Chapman is a business owner herself, as the owner of Simply Supper meal prep service — Chapman got together 30 other lemonade stands in her community and raised another $4,000 that summer. The next year saw the number of stands double to 75, raising a combined total of $22,000 for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. That trend would continue for the next six years, with Lemonade Stand Day’s 1,500 stands having raised over $900,000 to date.
“If we raise $100,000 this year, we’ll pass a million dollars donated to the Stollery,” Chapmans says. “None of our participants are over the age of 17. That’s crazy that we’re making a million dollars.”
Funds raised from this year’s Lemonade Stand Day will specifically go towards renovating the Family Room at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Described as a “safe place for patient families to be together, or alone, to reflect, to laugh and cry,” it’s a place that also holds a special significance for Chapman.
“Our daughter… was nine months old when she had her first seizure. She spent 10 days in the ICU,” she says. “Of those 10 days, I genuinely remember spending so much time in that family room, collecting my thoughts in there, having dinner together in there, spending time with my other family that came to visit.
“When you go into the hospital, you never go in with just a child. You go there with your whole family,” Chapman adds. “We want somewhere where the people who are in charge of these Stollery kids can go and have a moment and just take a breath. That’s what the Family Room is and we’re so excited to refresh it and give it a new look.”
More information about Lemonade Stand Day can be found on the program’s website, including a list of locations of participating lemonade stands.