Girl's Lemonade Day sale halted by misunderstanding at IMS
By Mary Milz, WTHR Citybeat reporter - bio | email
A 10-year-old Indianapolis girl had high hopes for Saturday's Lemonade Day, a day when kids get the chance to learn about running a small business.
Morgen Morris, who was sponsored by WIBC Radio, scored a spot at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"I was very excited. I thought I was going to make a lot of money," Morgen said. "Indiana is one of the top places for races, so I thought there'd be a lot of people there. Pole Day is a big day."
But just an hour into selling glasses of Peachy-Keen lemonade for 75 cents a glass, sales came to a screeching halt. An IMS employee put the brakes on her stand.
"We had a line going, so I thought maybe we would make a lot of money, but then he said you have to shut down and he cut the line off," Morgen said.
She didn't have a permit from the Marion County Health Department to sell food or beverages.
"I was very sad. With that money, I had plans to buy a Kindle Fire. I just pictured it all doing down the drain," Morgen said.
Organizers of Lemonade Day encourage kid to save, spend and share. Morgen also planned to raise money for the American Heart Association on behalf of an uncle who passed away and save money for her college education.
But she packed and left, not learning until later that she didn't need a permit. On Lemonade Day, the health department grants waivers to the young entrepreneurs.
IMS spokesman Doug Boles said, "It's one of those unfortunate instances...It's a mistake that shouldn't have happened and clearly we're trying to fix it."
Boles said somewhere along the way there was "miscommunication."
Morgen's mother Telisha Morris said, "Seeing her cry, I was hurt and it made me cry."
But Telisha used it as a "business lesson" telling her daughter, "Things don't always go as you planned, sometimes there's a bump and you learn to overcome."
IMS learned a lesson too, quickly making amends.
Morgen said, "I feel very happy about things. The IMS was very apologetic."
Monday, they told her the were donating $500 to the American Heart Association in her name. After hearing her story on WIBC radio Monday morning, one listener donated $250 and another $500.
"To know that a stranger called into help a family, children they've never seen before doing something good really touched me. We always teach our children there are a lot of good people in the world," Telisha said.
As for what Morgen learned?
"When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade," she said.