Marquette Wire

Love Your Melon strives to help sick children

Club creates associate membership due to growing member

Last+year%2C+the+Love+Your+Melon+organization+went+to+the+Ronald+McDonald+House+in+Milwaukee+to+donate+hats+for+children+fighting+cancer
Last year, the Love Your Melon organization went to the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee to donate hats for children fighting cancer

Last year, the Love Your Melon organization went to the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee to donate hats for children fighting cancer

Photo by Photo courtesy of Caroline Kupchella

Photo by Photo courtesy of Caroline Kupchella

Last year, the Love Your Melon organization went to the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee to donate hats for children fighting cancer

Dennis Tracy, A&E Reporter

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The idea behind the Love Your Melon organization was simple- create a team to sell hats and for every one sold, they will donate to children in the hospitals fighting cancer.

Last holiday season, the idea spread like wildfire, and turned a four-person organization into a 20-member team. Now the organization consists of over 200 people and they set up an associate membership program because so many people wanted to join.

As a part of Love Your Melon’s rules, only 20 members are allowed to join, as the crew can’t handle that much merchandise and prizes.

“I don’t want to do this if my job is to just keep turning people away,” Caroline Kupchella, club president and  sophomore in the College of Communication, said about the expansion.

Love Your Melon was founded back in 2012 when two sophomores at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota wanted to start a charity that helps sick children in need.

Marquette’s group wants to continue where they left off last year and get as many hats donated as possible.  One of their main goals last year was to try to become one of the college campus ambassadors for Love Your Melon. In order to do so, they needed to obtain 20 members to count as an official campus crew.

For every hat that is purchased, 25 percent of the revenue goes to the CureSearch foundation, an organization that spends its time trying to find a cure for cancer. Another 25 percent of the money goes to the Pinky Swear Foundation, another organization dedicated to helping children with cancer. The final 50 percent of the profit goes back to Love Your Melon so they can continue to fund production.

For every 250 hats that the crew sells at Marquette, another 250 are delivered to the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital.

The organization creates 15,000 hats- the same number as how many children are diagnosed with cancer each year.   After doing two nationwide tours last year to spread the word about this organization, more than 2,500 students and 225 different schools expressed interest in wanting to help children with cancer.

“Our donation events are either at the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee or at Milwaukee Children’s Hospital and we dress up as superheroes to hand out hats to kids who are battling cancer. It is the most rewarding part of what we do,” Kupchella said about her inspiration behind why she wanted to start the project here at Marquette.

Previously, they dressed up as superheroes to entertain children with cancer at their donation events.

“We went out and found some superhero shirts, put them on, and went to the Ronald McDonald house and got to interact with the family and kids there,” said Nicole Coenen, public relations director for Love Your Melon and a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences.

“I love spending time with kids and while cancer has not affected me dramatically in the past, I know people who have lost their battle with this horrible disease,” Kupchella said.

The group teamed up with Kappa Delta for its Shamrock Shuffle 3K Color run on Saturday where it started to sell some of its winter gear.

“We had a pretty good turnout,” said Stephanie Fiore, vice president of Love Your Melon and senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. “We sold about 16 hats and we’re looking for more events to do this year to get our sales up.”

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