Students ‘smash’ cancer in the student neighborhood

By: Grace Gorman – Staff Writer

If you have seen students smashing watermelons in the student neighborhood recently, don’t be alarmed. University of Dayton students have developed a social media campaign to “smash” out cancer and draw awareness to Love Your Melon, an apparel brand run by college students across the country in hopes to bring a hat to every child battling cancer.

Kait Schoenbauer, senior and Dayton crew captain, founded the University of Dayton’s Love Your Melon campus crew last winter.

Since then, it has been a huge success and they have been able to involve themselves in events such as the “Back-to-School Challenge,” which inspired the melon-smashing you may have witnessed on campus.

The goal of this challenge among the campus crews was to post a photo about how they are spreading the word about Love Your Melon on their campus and to get the most “likes” on any social media outlet. The Dayton Love Your Melon crew posted their photo on Facebook, emailed out the link and asked all of their friends and family to share the post as well.

The dedication didn’t end there for UD’s Love Your Melon crew. They wanted to go above and beyond in this challenge. They decided to start a movement on campus that could double as a photo for the challenge and promote the organization. Thus, Melon Mash Monday was formed.

Every Monday, members of Love Your Melon go to a house, which they have notified in advance, and have them smash melons in a baby pool as a symbol of “smashing cancer.”

UD Love Your Melon crew placed 5th in the “Back-to-School Challenge” and each crew member will receive a free beanie. “This is our first win and we are super stoked about it,” said Laura Schneider, senior and vice crew captain.

This win is just the beginning for UD’s Love Your Melon Crew. They have many more plans in store to spread the word.

“We’ve made so much progress just during this fall semester and I couldn’t be more excited about it! I have some great people to work with and they’re all super passionate about making a difference for these kids,” Schneider said. “After that, I would like to keep moving forward with selling products through our crew and doing household donation events, as well as events on campus to spread the word around UD and get more people involved.”

The crew has been working hard to become a prominent organization on campus in hopes of helping as many children as they can.

“I first heard about it through the University of Minnesota hospital when my brother was going through treatments there. LYM started in Minnesota originally, so I’ve known about it since they started in 2012. After my brother’s battle with cancer, I have been extremely passionate about supporting kids with cancer and cancer research and I absolutely love the mission that Love Your Melon started,” Schoenbauer said.  “Once I saw that they were opening up opportunities for people to start crews on their own campuses, I knew immediately that it was something I wanted to bring to UD.”

“Through Love Your Melon, I have found what I am passionate for and that is instilling confidence in children who are battling cancer. It’s such a rewarding group to be a part of and I love every minute of it,” said junior Alyssa Barnes, the public relations manager for Love Your Melon.

Anyone is welcome to attend the meetings and help out with events across campus. If interested email, udlymcrew@gmail.com as well as like all their social media pages. For more updates about the crew, follow UDLYMcrew on Instagram and Twitter and University of Dayton Love Your Melon Campus Crew on Facebook.

Want to buy a product? Go to loveyourmelon.com, and select “University of Dayton Crew” on the cart page to support UD’s crew directly. Love Your Melon is partnered with the Pinky Swear Foundation and CureSearch.
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Photo: Senior Neil Chavel helps kick off Melon Mash Monday at 240 Kiefaber. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Barnes.