BY JOAN CUSICK / PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOAN CUSICK

lemonade

The new recipe for success at the all-American lemonade stand is sustainable, charitable and all organic.

For 9-year-old twins Connor and Ryan Gerome, "sustainable" started with the stand itself. With the help of their mother, Michelle, they gathered recycled wood from a construction project and turned it into a bright yellow attention-getter.

The charitable component came easy for the boys. Since they had just lost their family dog to cancer, they decided to donate all the proceeds—some $84—to the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

But when you ask Connor and Ryan about their favorite part of the process, they say it was picking fresh lemons, squeezing the juice and adding honey to sweeten it up.

"We learned it's not that easy," Ryan said. His brother added, "And we learned you can do it another time if you don't get as many customers as you wanted."

Next time, they may experiment with other fruit drinks and even baked goods. These young businessmen figured out that working for a good cause can motivate you to turn your lemonade stand into a real stand-out.

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HONEY LEMONADE

1 gallon water

3 tablespoons honey (the boys used orange blossom honey)

4–5 large lemons, juiced

Bring water to a boil on the stovetop. Add honey and stir until dissolved. Add lemon juice and bring back just to a boil.

Cool to room temperature. Serve over ice.

Recipe by Michelle Romney-Gerome