Our story

The Lubbock Story

In 2012, fifth generation West Texan and longtime local business leader Charlie Hamilton, along with his wife, Kate, and their two boys, Carson and Conrad, brought Lemonade Day to Lubbock, Texas.

A serial entrepreneur, Charlie started his business career 35 years ago, at age 12, with his first fireworks stand. Little did he know at the time, his friend who had started a snow cone stand across the street would become his business partner decades later.

Since those early days, Charlie has mentored countless new entrepreneurs with the many lessons learned from his business ventures. When he heard about Lemonade Day’s vision to empower today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, they had him at “hello.” Charlie became Lubbock’s first City Champion, and the Hamiltons donated the initial seed money to put Lubbock on the Lemonade Day city map.

The first year was a whirlwind, pulling a year-long project off in only a few short months. Glenda Mathis, the Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA, and her team, were perfect partners to execute all of the events, registration, and details. The YWCA organized hundreds of registration events and became the training partner for volunteers and other nonprofit youth-serving organizations across the community. Events were held to engage Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, churches, schools, youth groups, and the YWCA after school programs. Cathy Landtroop, CEO/Founder of Landtroop Strategies, was recruited as the mouthpiece. Her public relations and marketing firm got the message out that started a snowball effect. Three thousand youth were registered that first year and many local business, political, and media partners jumped on board to make it a raging success.

Local youth learned how to set a goal, find an investor, make a plan and a budget, select a location, work really hard, provide good customer service and make a profit. After paying their investor back with interest, they learned to spend some of their profits, save some for a rainy day, and share some with their community. As an added benefit, thousands of dollars were donated back to area charities through the generosity of hundreds of new small business owners.

The results were so impactful that Lubbock was featured at the National Lemonade Day City Director’s Conference, giving two presentations during the two-day event. Shortly thereafter, Charlie Hamilton was recruited to serve on the National Board of Directors, while Landtroop Strategies was hired to handle public relations for National Lemonade Day.

Charlie passed the torch to one of Lubbock’s finest men and business leaders, Ron Betenbough of Betenbough Homes, and Ron became the 2013 City Champion aka the ‘Promoter in Chief.’ He and his team retained Glenda and Cathy to continue the charge!

The program continued to grow:

2013 - 3,500 backpacks were distributed and 600 new businesses (Lemonade Stands) were created on a single day.

2014 featured our “Future Millionaire” theme and was even more impactful with LISD 3rd graders implementing Lemonade Day into their curriculum. 5,000 backpacks were handed out and 807 stands resulted. Lubbock was selected “City of the Year” by National. Youth Entrepreneur, Katie School, became a nationally-featured entrepreneur and spoke to local sponsors and bankers at a special breakfast celebrating the impact of this program.

2015 proved to be yet another stellar year as 814 local entrepreneurs were ‘Self-Made with Lemonade” by starting their own business. In addition, Shallowater, Cooper and Frenship ISD’s all joined LISD implementing and further developing Lemonade Day into their curriculum. 

In 2016,  the theme of ‘Lemon Wars’ was launched with young entrepreneurs encouraged to pick the dark side or the light side…but either way to embrace that ‘the force is YOU!’ Ron Betenbough proudly announced the passing of the torch for the role of Lemonade Day City Champion to United Supermarkets CEO, Robert Taylor. Lemonade Day champions from the start, United hosted the first ribbon cutting kickoff event in 2012, offered locations for countless young entrepreneurs to operate stands in front of their stores and have been Underwriting Sponsors of the event since 2013...so this role was a natural fit. Texas Tech partnered with United Supermarkets to create the Lemonade Day Scholarship, offering $1,000 award to the Entrepreneur of the year, Emma Hernandez, and $500 scholarships to six finalists.

2017 ushered in multiple 'lemons to gold' stories featuring Lubbock legends Ron Betenbough, Robert Taylor, Charlie Hamilton, and Mark Bain. Through video and school assemblies, these entrepreneurs helped a record number of area youth turn lemons into gold. The $1,000 United/Texas Tech Scholarship and title of 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to Matthew Noel, who raised over $5,000 for local charities. 

2018 was a year of celebration with 891 stands across the community earning an average of $226 in profits!  Matthew Noel was named 1st runner-up for National Entrepreneur of the Year, and Glenda Mathis was presented the National President’s award in recognition for Lubbock Lemonade Day’s achievements and impact on the community.  Local youth, Rebekkah Kuhn, was named Lubbock’s 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year for her 7-year success story and continued innovation of her stand.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the generous partners who have not only donated their time and money, but have also utilized their own spheres of influence to make it all work. So, a very special thanks to all of the local partners and underwriters - without whom Lubbock Lemonade Day would not be possible!


What do kids learn by participating in Lemonade Day?

  • Capital Equipment
  • Consumables
  • Supply & Demand
  • Credit, Debt, Gross & Net Income
  • Marginal Utility
  • Return on Investment
  • Compound Interest
  • Critical Thinking & Collaboration
  • Interest in Attending College
  • Civic Responsibility
  • Customer Service
  • Teamwork & Problem Solving
  • Presentation Skills & Design
  • Leadership
  • Belief That Attaining Goals is Within Reach
  • Personal Productivity
  • Self-Direction & Time Management
  • Social Responsibility & Charity
  • High Order Thinking
  • Social Skills & Self Confidence
  • Math Calculations
  • Reading & Interpreting Data
  • Oral & Written Communication

90% of Lemonade Day participants plan to participate again!