Duhawks love their melons

What do two college students, 75,000 hats, and $1.1 million have in common? They all have to do with the impact of an organization called Love Your Melon. As the company’s mission states, “Love Your Melon is an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America, as well as supporting nonprofit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer.”

In 2012, two friends named Zach and Brian founded Love Your Melon while attending the University of St. Thomas. The duo had a goal of providing hats to children battling cancer, and their idea soared to amazing heights. Love Your Melon has donated over 75,000 hats to children and over $1.1 million to pediatric cancer research.

In addition to inspiring children and their families, the organization has been a motivation to people across the country. Upon doing a cross-country tour to spread its message, Love Your Melon discovered that thousands of college students wanted to get involved in the movement. This led to the creation of the Campus Crew Program that includes over 700 colleges and 11,000 students.

Loras College is one of the most recent schools to join the effort. Beginning this fall, a Love Your Melon organization will be present on campus thanks to the hard work of several dedicated students. Senior Payton Van Vors is the architect behind making all this possible.

“One of my friends started Love Your Melon at a different school, and I realized how important it was to get it at Loras. I think everyone is impacted by cancer, so any organization that works to help solve it or aid in cancer research is one worth starting,” said Van Vors.

Loras’ chapter of Love Your Melon will be led by an executive board with Van Vors serving as the Captain. She is joined by senior Hannah Fritts as Vice Captain, senior Maura Zawaski as Secretary, and junior Rachel Seidl as Public Relations Chair. Additionally, a crew consisting of 20 members will act as liaisons between the organization and the Loras community. Anyone who is interested in the cause is welcome to join as volunteers.

Love Your Melon will likely have a successful future on Loras’ campus as the founders are extremely passionate about the message.

“Cancer specifically has affected my life personally, with my mom having and fighting through neuroendocrine cancer for three and a half years now. I can see how cancer affects someone and their loved ones. Being able to be a part of something like Love Your Melon has me feeling like I am doing what I can to help the cause,” said Vice Captain Fritts.

In order to join the movement, watch out for news about Loras College Love Your Melon. The organization will utilize social media as well as tabling by the café to spread the word. They will be selling apparel such as beanie hats, baseball hats, bandanas, shirts, jackets, headbands, and more. Purchasing just one item helps children all over the country with cancer.

“(Love Your Melon) means college students can come together to do amazing things. It means more opportunities, more smiles on children in the hospital, and more celebrations,” said Fritts.

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