SF Bay Area Lemonade Alley

by | Aug 5, 2015 | Alley News

IMG_3215The inaugural Lemonade Alley, SF Bay Area went off like clockwork at the Fremont Festival of the Arts August 1 & 2, 2015. The event marked a number of firsts for Lemonade Alley including first ever off-island event, first ever licensing producer event and first ever multi-day event. All that in our 5th year anniversary!

Thanks to NBC11 & YMCA Fremont/Newark


Steve Sue (Chief Lemon Head), Lance Lew (NBC11), Josh Carlson (YMCA Fremont/Newark), Laura Husek (Lemon Crew HNL)

Huge thanks to Lance Lew and NBC11 Bay Area for media sponsoring, underwriting and having the vision to bring Lemonade Alley to the Bay Area. NBC11 provided tents, signage, staff and promotions like PSAs, news broadcast inserts, web and social mentions and a really awesome interview on their Asian Pacific America show with Robert Handa.

From the YMCA side, Josh Carlson did a great job organizing the charities, scrip sales and volunteer staff despite having a birthday the first day of the event. An amazing branded scrip booth manned by YMCA staff was a really nice compliment to the lemonade stands themselves. YMCA Fremont/Newark really delivered their motto of, “for youth, for health and for social responsibility.” We’re proud to be associated with both NBC11 and YMCA.

400,000 in Attendance, 80-90 Degrees

IMG_3247Fremont Festival of the Arts is reputed to be the biggest outdoor fair in the Bay Area with over 400,000 in attendance each year. It did not disappoint. Streets for blocks were closed off and the event organized around a major 4-way street intersection. One of the legs of the 4-way was sponsored by NBC11 which had games at the end of the alley… Lemonade Alley was the lead in to get to the back NBC11 games. With temperatures of 80-90 degrees each day, and a constant stream of visitors moving through, it was “perfect storm” conditions for Lemonade Alley teams to Profit to Share!

A Charity-First Format

NBC11 and YMCA came up an idea of giving booths to charities rather than promoting to kid-teams directly. Each charity was responsible for raising their own kid teams rather than kid teams entering and associating with a charity. This new format greatly reduced outreach logistics. It also served to move the overall event message more in the direction of telling the charities’ stories. We liked that outcome very much as we’ve been looking for ways for teams to get better connected with their charities. It was the kind of brilliant thought that the Honolulu crew was hoping to observe through fresh eyes. This option will be added to the Lemonade Alley playbook as an option for other regions to adopt.

IMG_3203 IMG_3200 IMG_3201 IMG_3197 IMG_3202 IMG_3204

5,500 Cups Sold, Charities & Producers Want More!

Benefiting charities at the event were Union City Kid’s Zone, Boldly Me, YMCA Political Leadership Group, Autism Speaks, Union City Boy Scout Troop 273 and YMCA Leadership Group. Despite a local health code that required booths to have screen-netting across all fronts making it hard to connect with visitors, all teams learned how to adapt and turned to sending callers out into the crowd to tell their stories. Preliminary counts show approximately 5,500 cups of lemonade sold over the two-day event. All teams reported that they had a great time, were thankful to be able to raise some money for their causes and are excited to participate again next year, each citing that they have so many ideas on how to improve their booths. NBC11 and YMCA also were very pleased with the event and are excited to bring it back next year to continue Lemonade Alley as an annual program.

BizGym Foundation Visits, Capital One 360 Hosts


Cleo Brown, Karen Asato


Quyen Nguyen, Steve Sue, Iris Kuo


Steve Sue, Mary Pratt, Kristi Yim

From the Honolulu side, huge thanks to BizGym Foundation Board Member Cleo Brown for organizing a sponsor’s reception at Capital One 360 in San Francisco. The Tuesday night event was attended by 20 or so really nice people and a bunch of us went out for an epic banquet dinner at R&G Lounge afterwards (yes, we had the salt & pepper crab!). And huge thanks to Capital One 360 for providing the space, food and beverage for the event. The Capital One 360 space is located on Kearny & Post, on the dividing line between the Financial District and Union Square. It’s a premium location with a sleek and modern design. If you need a place to think or hangout during business hours, it’s a co-working space of choice.


Karen Asato, Laura Husek, Steve Sue

Thanks also to Laura Husek, Honolulu Lemon Crew Volunteer, for making the trip out to SF to support the cause. Your positive attitude and ability to manifest good is exactly what Lemonade Alley is about. We’re very lucky to have dedicated volunteers like you aboard. And thanks to Mary Pratt, a Lemon Crew HNL member who just moved to the Bay Area to make non-profit videos ~ if you’re a non-profit and need a vid, look for Forward Films.

Lemonade Alley 5th Year VideoAlso represented at the event were BizGym Foundation Board Member Dennis Burns through a new 5-Year Anniversary Video he and his team at 1013 Integrated created for the Capital One 360 reception. It’s a gorgeous video that reprises scenes from the past 5 years.

Along with the new 5-Y Anniversary Video, a new Lemonade Alley Sponsor’s Slideshow Deck by intern Dane Asato was presented. Dane is a sophomore business communications major at UC Santa Barbara and he’s already showing he’s real for prime time.

Finally, Thanks to my wife Karen Asato for being such a good sport. She supported every event, powdered my nose for interviews and stuck by my side with a smile through the whole week.

Love, Lemons & Aloha,

Steve Sue :), Chief Lemon Head