Love Your Melon Tour Concludes With a Spot on NBC’s Today Show Kate Metzger February 19, 2014 4 Comments The Love Your Melon bus returned to St. Thomas on Friday, Feb. 7, after a monthlong trip across the United States. Founders and UST entrepreneurship students Brian Keller and Zachary Quinn, along with their documentary crew, traveled 5,000 miles to bring their organization’s mission to a national audience. Love Your Melon is a nonprofit organization that grew out of class project. It operates on a buy-one-give-one model – for every hat that is sold, one is given to a child in a hospital. The culmination of the Smile Tour prompted producers of NBC’s Today Show to visit St. Thomas during the organization’s homecoming celebration on John P. Monahan Plaza. Watch the Love Your Melon appearance on the Today Show: Love Your Melon Smile Tour by the numbers: 5,000 miles traveled through 23 states. 18 cities, nine hospitals and seven college campuses visited. Two adventures provided to children – including a day of sightseeing in New York City for one child, and a bus ride and fun day for another who was returning to school after a year of treatment. Along the way, 1,844 hats were sold and 850 donated. A tour highlight included an appearance on Good Morning America. At its homecoming celebration at St. Thomas, Love Your Melon sold 341 hats and set up its mobile barber shop where several students and UST community members shaved their heads. Student Zachary Hurdle gets his head shaved at Love Your Melon’s homecoming celebration. Love Your Melon Milestones Since its founding in October 2012, Love Your Melon has: Delivered hats to all 50 states, as well as 12 countries, Sold 5,044 hats, Donated 4,050 hats, Shaved 171 heads, and Provided eight helicopter rides, four plane rides, 10 limo rides, four concerts and six athlete visits. According to Quinn, the gap between hats sold and donated will help launch the organization’s college ambassador program. “We are choosing 20 individuals attending different colleges around the country and organizing donation events,” he said, noting that ambassadors will carry on the organization’s mission through giving hats and visiting hospitals. Already on board are students at Emory University and Boston College, who Keller and Quinn met with while on the Smile Tour. Read more about Love Your Melon in St. Thomas magazine. RelatedPresident Sullivan Declares Oct. 22 Love Your Melon DayLove Your Melon: Hats and HopeFowler Concept ‘PlayFlat’ Offers Sharp Solution to Common Music NuisanceStudent-team Presents Innovation Scholars Recommendations to Mayo Clinic 4 Responses Brennan Clayton March 16, 2014 The Love Your Mellon bus visited us in Aspen where the Shining Stars (kids with cancer) was holding our ski week at Buttermilk. The kids just loved them and as adults we were just blown away by them. Renewed my faith in the future of this country! Elizabeth February 21, 2014 I’m so excited about this project.. and such a Blessing to me..Oct. 22nd was my Mother’s Birthday..and Feb. 19 was my late husband’s big day… Ron died of cancer.. Mother of Stroke.. I have a thing about numbers.. and like God called me to this site, I’m going to spread the word of the hats, such a horrendous winter for so many .. Blessings to all involved in this fantastic project !! betty mcevoy February 19, 2014 How can I order a hat? Kate Metzger February 19, 2014 Betty, visit http://www.loveyourmelon.com/shop. They are experiencing unusually high volume so the site may not be immediately available.