Monday, June 29, 2009

A lemonade veteran offers tips

We've had some early questions today about Mission Possible's Lemonade Brigade - our invitation to Charlotte kids to raise money for charities that help other kids.

People want to know: What's the best way to set up a lemonade stand? How much should you charge per cup? Does the lemonade have to be squeezed?

Our advice: Keep it fun.

To better explain, we bring you The Cliff's lemonade stand veteran, 6-year-old Finn Rissanen. "It's easy," says Finn, who has operated a stand several days this year in his Southeast Charlotte neighborhood.

Finn has a simple setup: a black table with a plastic cash register, some cups, and a pitcher of Country Time expertly made by his mom, Tammy. Finn's spaniel, KC, keeps him company.

Finn charges 25 cents per cup. (He would charge $1 if he had lemonade in cans, but he's run out.) He notes that the best day to run a stand is Monday, because "the recycle man comes and fills up a gallon." Also, Wednesday is good. "Because it's hot," he says.

If you're thirsty, Finn will be back at it this Wednesday at 5 p.m. - a good time to catch workers on their way home. The stand will be in his front yard at 9109 Kalanchoe Dr in the Sardis Pointe subdivision off Sardis Road, a half-mile north of Hwy 51. (A tip from other veterans: If your neighborhood has a common area, a stand there might snag more traffic.)

If your family would like to have a stand for charity - you pick which agency - we'd love to let readers know where they can find it. If you want to let us know after business is over, we'll report to folks how it went. Email us at and put "Lemonade Brigade" in the subject header. Don't hesitate to send pictures.

If lemonade isn't your cup of tea, let us know about any other kind of money-raising effort your child is making, and we'll tell folks about that, too.

Finn says his stand's proceeds will go toward the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. When his dad, John, asked him why, he said that sometimes people are sad and hurt, and he wanted to help them feel better.

And, he says: "I know how to sell lemonade."