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KidBiz hits the Town Commons this weekend

Sat, Jun 30th 2018 06:55 am
Casey's Cabana, the first major spin-off of KidBiz, officially opened for business on Tuesday. (Photo by Colleen Rebmann)
Casey's Cabana, the first major spin-off of KidBiz, officially opened for business on Tuesday. (Photo by Colleen Rebmann)
By Travis LeFevre
In 2008, a young and aspiring entrepreneur ventured down into his basement, grabbed an armful of old toys and sold them at KidBiz. Ten years later, KidBiz is still running strong on Grand Island.
On Saturday, young entrepreneurs from across the Island will get together to sell their products and goods for KidBiz, the annual program hosted by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.
Featuring over 80 student participants, KidBiz gives children between 2nd and 8th grade the opportunity to run a business for a day and serve anywhere from one-to-three thousand visitors to the Town Commons.
"We want to make leaders who make leaders who make leaders. (To) have that develop kids at a young age to be entrepreneurs and leaders and take a leadership role. KidBiz does that; that's why we continually support the program," said Eric Fiebelkorn, president of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, "We continually put it on every year in conjunction with the school district. It's a nice marriage of community services."
This year, Casey's Cabana, a newly opened business run by former KidBiz kids Lauren Merletti, Gabby Bergstrom and Luke Hess, will be grilling hot dogs instead of Hot Dog University.
"When you see kids like Lauren Gabby and Luke (who) ten years later, they're doing a DECA project. ... You kinda know it's yielding leaders down the road who are prepared to go in the next version of school; trades, military, whatever it may be — but mostly entrepreneurs is what we're trying to develop," said Fiebelkorn.
Casey's Cabana had an official ribbon cutting on June 26. According to Fiebelkorn, Casey's Cabana is the first significant spin-off of KidBiz into a full-fledged project.

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