Stormy weather on October 14 didn’t stop a record number of guests from attending Project Lemonade’s third annual luncheon at the Multnomah Athletic Club and contributing in record amounts. Over 350 supporters helped us raise nearly $109,000, thanks in part to a generous match from the Ray Hickey Foundation.

KGW television anchor Tracy Barry hosted for the third year in a row, providing her trademark blend of levity and directness. Keynote speaker Chris Boucher, a 6’10” University of Oregon basketball standout and NBA hopeful, described overcoming adversity, growing up in a struggling family, the importance of good decisions in the face of peer pressure, and the value of sharing his story: “Even if it helps only one person, it’s worth it.”

A panel of three Project Lemonade interns led by founder Rhonda Meadows discussed working in the store this summer in our inaugural paid internship program for foster teens. Those interns and other foster youth we’ve served are featured in two videos created by Quarter4 Media, which premiered at the luncheon. You can view the videos on our website.

Finally, former foster youth Anthony Preston shared an incredibly personal story of hardship and loss, one which articulated how the support Project Lemonade provides foster youth creates an unmeasurable but invaluable positive ripple effect.

We cannot thank enough our generous sponsors and guests, our luncheon’s speakers, our loyal volunteers and all our new friends who support our work and celebrated with us.


For his community service Action Project Sawyer Klarp, an 8th grade student at Rachael Carson Middle School, chose to volunteer at Project Lemonade and organize a donation drive. Sawyer started in July 2014 with volunteer hours at the store. He helped sort, organize and merchandise clothes. He also helped move boxes and tear down the store. Lastly, he sorted boxes and clothing at the storage unit.
For his donation event, he sent home flyers to all the students and emails to the parents requesting they bring in donations for the clothing boxes. With the support of his school Sawyer collected eight large garbage bags of donations. Sawyer said the greatest impact this project had on him was learning the needs of foster children (back to school clothes so they look like all the other kids and have confidence) and getting more people to donate to and be aware of Project Lemonade.


"For my service project I had the honor of working with Project Lemonade. They are an organization that helps foster kids get access to clothes, their goal is to inspire success and build self esteem. To help, I got to sort clothes into different sizes and gender. In April I held a clothing drive. I raised a huge amount of clothes and I'm so thankful I had an opportunity to help. The project definitely made me feel very thankful for what I have and it felt amazing to help others. I plan to help Project Lemonade throughout the summers and school years in the future. My entire service project would not have been successful without my mentor Kirsten Brady. I would like to thank her for taking the time to help me figure how I can help!"


In May, Columbia Sportswear gave volunteers and supporters of Project Lemonade an employee day pass, which enabled them to shop at a 50% off discount at the employee store. Ten percent of all purchases made by Project Lemonade shoppers were donated to Project Lemonade. We thank Columbia Sportswear for this generous partnership. 


Thanks you to Tom Hughes at adidias america for coordinating an incredibly generous donation of new coats via Soles4Souls. Thanks to these wonderful supporters, 850 Portland-area foster youth will have warm winter coats next season!

Thank You Umpqua Bank!

 Project Lemonade is proud to be a recipient of Umpqua Bank Good Grants! Several Members of our community nominated our organization to win this $2,500 grant!

Lincoln High School Raises Money For Project Lemonade

A huge thank you to Mr. Arlie Peyton and his Business class at Lincoln High School who selected Project Lemonade as an organization to study. Students applied their business development skills as they planned and executed a fundraiser and raised $590.40 for Project Lemonade. The event was held on February 7th at the Lincoln cafeteria and included live music, raffles, and food and drink. The class closed the loop on their effort by evaluating the event to determine areas of success and improvement. If your school is interested in hosting an event email us at We encourage you to take the challenge.

Pictured left to right: Brandon Leitgeb, Rose Saltveit, Lauryn Wilk, Mr. Arlie Peyton, Nawal Oumar, Max Sullivan, Theo Geist.

Golf Tournament August 14th to Benefit Project Lemonade

We are pleased to announce that the Jim Neill Foundation selected PL to be the donor recipient of the annual Jim Neill Memorial Golf Tournament benefit event. Jim was a partner in the law firm of Davis, Wright, Tremaine specializing in hospitality law. Jim passed away at the age of 64 on September 1, 2010 after a courageous yearlong battle with brain cancer. Both his family and many close friends have chosen to honor his memory by marrying two of the activities he enjoyed most: golf and community service. In 2010, the Jim Neill Memorial Foundation was formed with the goal of hosting an annual golf tournament to benefit a Portland area non-profit organization.

Please support the event as a golfer, a silent auction donor or a sponsor.

Project Lemonade hosts first fundraising luncheon

Portland, Ore. Sept. 4, 2014 – Project Lemonade, a non-profit in Portland, is set to host its first fundraising luncheon Friday, Sept. 19 at 12 p.m. at the Multnomah Athletic Club. The luncheon is Project Lemonade’s largest annual fundraising effort with a goal to raise $70,000. Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of the New York Times best seller “The Language of Flowers,” will speak.

Project Lemonade, a non-profit 501(c)(3) was founded three years ago by Rhonda Meadows, a former foster parent to a young boy named Alan who came to her with a single paper sack containing all of his clothing, much of which was old and ill fitting. To meet the needs of youth like Alan, Project Lemonade operates a back-to-school shopping event during the month of August where foster youth can come and shop for free for new and nearly new shoes, coats, denim, shirts, socks and underwear, backpacks and accessories, so they can start school with greater self-esteem and confidence, just like their peers.

Due to unfortunate budget cuts, the Department of Human Services (DHS) no longer has clothing to provide for foster children, meaning they are left to rely on what little they currently carry from home to home. Project Lemonade will provide clothes to children at no cost, empowering foster children to start their first day of school with confidence.  

Project Lemonade is an all-volunteer organization and relies entirely on community support to accomplish its mission. Over the past three years, Project Lemonade has served more than 5,000 foster youth.

“We are grateful to the many apparel and shoe companies in Portland who have stood with us for the past three years by providing thousands of dollars of new and nearly new merchandise to these deserving kids,” states Kirsten Brady, Board President. 

All funds raised at the luncheon will be used to further Project Lemonade’s 2015 event.

About Project Lemonade

Project Lemonade provides foster youth in the Portland metro area with a back-to-school shopping experience and offers support to inspire self-esteem and promote success. Each August youth ages 5-20 shop for free back to school clothes in a pop-up shop, which has been generously donated the past two years by community property owners. Project Lemonade is a Portland, Oregon non-profit 501(c)(3) run entirely by volunteers and relies on financial contributions, grants, in-kind donations and volunteer efforts by both individuals and companies. Its board of directors provides oversight to the organization and its nearly 300 volunteers. Project Lemonade’s long-term goal is to secure a year-round facility to meet the ongoing needs of youth. Since 2012, Project Lemonade has served over 3,000 foster youth from Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and counties in outlying areas. More information is available at   

Project Lemonade Featured in Women’s Day Magazine

If you had a chance to pick up the August 2014 issue of Woman’s Day Magazine you would have seen a two page story on how founder Rhonda Meadows was inspired to start Project Lemonade. The article features the story of Alan, a young boy who Rhonda fostered back in 1996. “When I picked up Alan he had nothing more than a paper sack with all of his belongings,” she stated. “Foster youth need the same things all kids need as they are growing including shoes and jeans that fit, a new coat each year and socks and underwear.” 

The story prompted calls from individuals in 15 states to find out how they can start a similar organization in their community.

According to Oregon Department of Human Services in 2013...

12,113 children spent at least one day in foster care. Of those children 6,035 were served by DHS, meaning they spent more than a single day in foster care.  In 2013 the average length of stay for a child in foster care was 18 months.

UO Alumni Features Project Lemonade




There are an estimated 13,000 foster children in Oregon. Thirteen thousand children in the Beaver State being raised by new families. Thirteen thousand children starting anew in their lives, getting second, third, fourth chances at being part of a happy family.

And one quintet of University of Oregon alumnae determined to give them all a practical—yet fashionable—self-esteem boost.

Two years ago, Rhonda Meadows ’81, Janet Smith Cathcart ’82, Austin Blythe ’11, Cynthia Fraser ’80, and Cheryl McElroy ’86 founded Project Lemonade, a 501 (c)(3) organization with one simple mission: to host an annual back-to-school event for Oregon’s foster children to provide them with clothing, shoes, and accessories.

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