The newest Keene State College campus crew, Love Your Melon (LYM), is promoting self-acceptance through an apparel brand that encourages kids with cancer to love their melons.
Captain of the LYM crew and KSC sophomore Tara Doherty said that the Love Your Melon organization is an apparel brand that is run by college students across the country on a mission to give a hat to every child battling cancer.
“We get points every time we sell a hat and, once we reach a certain point, we get to go to hospitals and give them away to children battling cancer,” Doherty said.
Crewmember and KSC junior Courtney Dusablon added that they dress up like superheroes when they go to the local hospitals to deliver the hats to the children.
“The superhero aspect of giving the hats to each child is so they can embark in an adventure that they will remember for the rest of their lives. It is something that will put a smile on their face, even though they are facing an extremely hard challenge in their lives,” Dusablon said.
In addition to hand-delivering hats to children, Vice President of the crew and KSC sophomore Kristina Hendron said that the organization implements a buy-one-give-one program, which means that with every purchase made, a hat gets donated to a child with cancer and the proceeds are donated to the Pinky Swear Foundation and CureSearch.
Hendron said that through LYM, the organization tries to show kids with cancer that they can love their melons (aka their heads) even if they have lost their hair from treatment.
“The hats get sent to children in America who have all different kinds of cancer; there are no limitations. The age range goes from infants to young adults,” Hendron said.
Secretary of LYM, Kerry Kelley, added, “Love Your Melon means to love your head because when you are battling cancer, you lose your hair due to drugs. The hats are given to these children to help make their heads more comfortable,” Kelley said.
Doherty said that LYM came to the KSC campus this past September.
“I was influenced by my friend at quinnipiac university who was in their crew and wanted to bring it to Keene State. I then applied to be a campus crew and once they approved, I went on and recruited nineteen members.”
Hendron added that Doherty, who is also her roommate, brought the idea to bring LYM to Keene State and she jumped at the opportunity to be a part of it.
“Getting involved with fighting cancer in any way that I can is a huge part of my life and it is also something that I enjoy doing very much,” Hendron said.
Like Hendron, Head of Public Relations for the KSC branch of LYM, Abigail Donovan, said that Doherty also influenced her to join.
“My friend Tara asked me to be apart of it because it related to what I want to do later in life for my career,“ she said.
Donovan said that she is in charge of handling all of LYM’s social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
One of the main goals for LYM coming to KSC is to expand and promote the organization in the Keene area and since LYM is very in tune with social media, Doherty said that everyone is encouraged to go visit their pages.
Doherty also revealed that they would be holding their first campus event during Pumpkin Lobotomy on November first.
From being a part of the LYM crew team, Dusablon said that so far the experience has been very rewarding.
“I have taken part in raising money for cancer, but nothing like this. The buy one give one aspect is very rewarding and heart felt. Not only do I get to feel that happiness, I get to bring a hat personally to these kids which is a great experience and something I will never forget,” Dusablon said.
Dusabloncontinued, “Although this group has just started at KSC, we as a whole have already had awesome results. We have many purchases being made every week and we hope to continue that. We also hope that we can continue marketing and getting others involved to help children with cancer in our local community.”
Brogan Wessell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org