Lulu Cerone, on Lemonade Warriors and new book PhilanthroParties!
Touching base with 2013 Ventura Blvd magazine Top Teen, Lulu Cerone, author of a new book aimed at creating the next generation of social activists
Photographed by Renee Bowen
When Lulu Cerone was just 10, she exhibited signs of empathy. The Encino resident started selling lemonade and giving the proceeds to nonprofits aimed at providing clean drinking water in Africa. Inspired, she set up a challenge for her fifth-grade class and raised $4,000. That led to her founding LemonAID Warriors, and seven years later the nonprofit has raised more than $100,000.
Part of the 18-year-old’s mission has always been to encourage social activism among children.
She hopes her new book, PhilanthropParties, published by Simon & Schuster, will be one of those tools. The vibrant book is a photo-packed, month-by-month, philanthropic party-planning guide, complete with recipes, activities and DIY crafts. “I hope to attract kids who would never buy an activism book but might be attracted to the fun crafts, recipes and party ideas,” she explains.
Making the book was a grassroots effort that involved a pack of Valley kids—and their moms. “We had to recreate 36 parties in my backyard, including food, decoration and party guests … and we only had the budget for a four-day shoot! The moms helped out with the food styling, craft making and set decorations.”
Lulu insists anyone can throw a “philanthroparty.” “Actually I don’t consider myself a natural hostess! I purposely designed each party so that they can be recreated by anyone. They’re budget friendly, and the recipes and crafts are really simple; they range from large events to after-school playdates.”
In the fall Lulu will head to college (most probably on the east coast) and a friend will take the reins of LemonAID Warriors. She shares that her mentor (Dr. Jeni Stepanek) taught her she need not be defined by one thing, and when the time was right it would be okay to move on. She looks forward to pursuing other passions “and really enjoying college for the next four years.”