Alina Freyer and Chloe Jessen sell lemonade

Alina Fryer, 9, and Chloe Jessen, 8, took to the streets Saturday afternoon to show the world that a sweet glass of lemonade can make a difference.

The two John Muir students set up a lemonade stand in front of Fryer’s house and sold cups of chilled homemade lemonade for 50 cents. Their stand, located in a prime spot near Berkeley Bowl on Shattuck Avenue, was one of dozens of stands erected in the Bay Area.

They were part of “National Lemonade Day,” a venture that links up business experts with small children. The idea is to inject a little business savvy in the sidewalk lemonade stand and use part of the proceeds for charity.

Fryer and Jessen, who invested $4 in buying lemons, planned to donate their proceeds to their school. John Muir’s fundraising efforts have fallen short of its goals this year, largely due to the recession.

“We’re going to donate all the proceeds to our school,” said Alina.

“This year we haven’t raised enough money,” added Chloe.

Lemonade Day was started in 2007 by a Houston businessman who wanted to show his daughter how to earn money. He set up a non-profit and recruited local businesses to work with neighborhood kids.

By 2009, Houston kids set up 27,000 lemonade stands and sold more than 2 million glasses of homemade lemonade. The idea went national this year. The Bay Area was one of 12 cities/regions that participated in the 2010 National Lemonade Day.

The kids are encouraged to develop a plan, create a budget, and publicize their stand – all key components of any successful business.

Alina and Chloe, who are next-door neighbors, are experienced lemonade sellers. They said they have set up a stand more than 50 times, but Christopher Fryer, Alina’s father, thought the number was more like five times.

“This is one of their favorite things to do,” he said. “When things slow down when they are playing, setting up a lemonade stand is next on their list.”

The girls brought in $7.50.

“It was a slow day,” said Fryer.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...