Penny Parker On The Town: Local kids make lemonade out of lemons

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

That’s what a bunch of budding entrepreneurs did on Saturday when they set up self-decorated lemonade stands in front of  Young Americans Bank, the financial institution established by philanthropist Bill Daniels, at 3550 E. First Ave. in Cherry Creek.

The event was part of Metro Denver Lemonade Day , a free community-wide event dedicated to teaching children how to start, own and operate their own businesses through the simple and time-honored act of building and running a lemonade stand.

Lemonade Day Metro Denver receives major support from The Daniels Fund as well as The Anschutz Foundation, LiveWell Colorado and the Riverfront Park Community Foundations.

Inspired by the lessons of Houston entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Holthouse who taught his young daughter and her friend when they set up a lemonade stand, Lemonade Day was born in 2007.

Event organizer Ellen Robinson asked me, along with a handful of other judges including chef/restaurateur Troy Guard, to judge each lemonade based on “healthiest” and just plain best tasting.

Here were the winners:

* Healthiest lemonade recipe winners were Nicole Taylor and Adam Thiret.

* Third place, best recipe: Sara and Lucy Francone.

* Second place: Fresh Start Kids.

* First place: Nicole Taylor and Adam Thiret, who won $500 for their good tasting effort.

Major sponsors were Waste Connections, Dependable Cleaners, LiveWell Colorado, Young Americans Bank and Daniels Fund.

But Saturday was only a preview of the big lemon squeeze to come on June 9 when roughly 2,500 stands will be set up throughout Metro Denver and the lucky best tasting liquid will be awarded $5,000 in scholarship money.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has declared June 9 Lemonade Day Metro Denver.

Tailgate time

Tickets are now on sale to support the Colorado Restaurant Association Mile High Chapter annual Tailgate Party from 4-6 p.m. on June 11 at Coors Field Parking Lot B to support The Colorado Restaurant Association Education Fund and The Mile High Chapter Hardship Fund, which donates money to individual restaurant workers who are injured or have otherwise fallen into hard times.

Tickets are only $25 until June 1 and then go up to $30 after that date.

Come celebrate your Rockies, your successes or just plain celebrate while raising money for The Colorado Restaurant Association Education Fund and The Mile High Chapter Hardship Fund.

Questions? Call Lauren O’Brien at 720-291-8007 or email The Rockies are playing the Washington Nationals that day. Enjoy beers, burgers and bands while raising money for good causes to support restaurant industry workers.

I have been to this hearty party many times, and it’s a major good time!

Chefs’ dinner series

Charcoal, the Scandinavian-inspired spot at 43 W. Ninth Ave., is continuing its chefs’ dinner series on June 11.

Seating is at 6:30 p.m. and dinner is at 7. Josh Leiby and Meagan Curley will be next month’s chefs serving a rustic American menu. Cost is $50 for the five-course meal only or $70 when paired with wines.

Just to entice you foodie folks, the recent dinner consisted of peas and carrots three ways; pan-seared Alamosa bass with risotto cake, Spanish chorizo, calamari, baby zucchini and tomato broth; and rhubarb-lemon tart with strawberry meringue and mint foam.

Reservations for the June 11 dinner: 303-454-0000 or by going to

Political pundit Monaghan dies

Jim Monaghan, a political strategist and longtime spokesman for Denver billionaire Phillip Anschutz, died Wednesday at 66.

Monaghan, who  died at University of Colorado Hospital after a brief illness. began his political career in 1972, as an adviser for Democratic candidates. He led many to election as governors, senators and mayors.

“If you were a Democrat in this town and you were evaluating getting into public life or had a ballot issue, you wanted to know what Jim Monaghan thought,” Jim Lyons, an attorney at the Denver law firm Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons, told The Denver Post. “He would give it to you straight.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper responded to Monaghan’s death with a post on Twitter: “Jim Monaghan defined for many of us how to think strategically about political issues & events. His death is a loss for all of (Colorado).”

Monaghan’s funeral will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Holy Ghost Church, 1900 California St.. A reception will take place at the Carriage House of the Governor’s Residence from 1-4 p.m. the same day.

Dress success

Olympic gold-medal swimmer Missy Franklin attended her prom at Regis High School recently. She was decked out in a fab red gown she bought at Mariel, the most wonderful women’s clothing and formal-wear boutique in Cherry Creek North.

Denise Snyder is the owner and buyer for the store. If you haven’t been, check it out. My sister shops there whenever she is in Denver, and she seriously gets stopped on the streets of Chicago by women wowed by her outfit. She gets a kick out of saying, “I bought this in Denver!”

More information at or by calling 303-623-1151.

Mariel Boutique in Cherry Creek North provided Missy Franklin's red prom dress. (Photo courtesy of Mariel)

Mariel Boutique in Cherry Creek North provided Missy Franklin’s red prom dress. The gold-medal winning swimmer recently attended her prom at Regis High School where she is a graduating senior. (Photo courtesy of Mariel)


Truffle time

Rob and Karin Lawler, owners of the magnificent Truffle Cheese Shop on Sixth Avenue, are opening Truffle Table Restaurant in a couple of weeks at 2556 15th St.

I’m told that they have hired a great chef and have major plans for the place. No phone or website yet, but for more information, you can call the cheese shop at 303-322-7363.

Here’s hoping that the restaurant will be as wonderful and as well received as the original cheese shop!

Eavesdropping on Sam Adams, the journalist/standup comedian (not the beer guy):

“A man buys a copy of my book after last night’s show. While I sign it, he asks, ‘Who are some of the people you wrote about?’ I said, ‘Joe Montana, John Elway, Bill Cosby, Nolan Ryan, Barry Bonds, Kobe Bryant, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Costner and Paul Newman. That’s off the top of my head.’ Dude says, ‘Paul Newman – the salad dressing guy’ I said, ‘Yeah, and he was in a couple of movies too.'”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email:


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