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.

“The younger generation gets a reputation for being self-centered and apathetic. I actually find that most people young people care deeply about the world around them but often lack the tools to express their compassion,” says Lulu

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.”


Book Signing & Philanthroparty Event details:

May 13 @ 1:30 pm5:00 pm

Book Launch at Bookstar/Barnes & Noble, Philanthroparty to follow at Artisan Cheese Gallery (12023 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, 91604)

 Philanthroparty outside of the venue as well as a LemonAID Warriors stand (the wonderful organization that Lulu founded) where donations will be taken to support AMF (African Millennium Foundation).   AMF is a strategic non-profit and non-governmental organization committed to the social and economic empowerment of the people of Africa, especially women. AMF seeks to target poverty, hunger and disease at its very root by providing African women and children with the necessary tools for achieving self-sufficiency.  Additionally they seek to empower young women in Africa through education— something Lulu is especially passionate about.  For the philanthroparty, Lulu and her volunteers will affix greeting cards that have been hand-painted by one of the young women who has benefited from the resources of AMF, as well as make beaded bracelets.  Those who donate $5 to the LemonAID Warriors stand will receive a greeting card, and those who donate $20 will receive a bracelet.  For those who are not able to contribute financially, they are more than welcome to participate in the philanthroparty crafting.
A limited number of signed copies of the book will be available for purchase and will be able to sign copies of pre-purchased books if anyone wasn’t able to attend her signing just prior.