Love Your Melon will host softball tournament as DanceBlue fundraiser

UK students are taking a swing at childhood cancer by participating in the Love Your Melon 16 inch softball tournament this weekend.

Love Your Melon is a national organization with a goal of putting a hat on the head of every child battling cancer, according to its website.

UK has had a Love Your Melon chapter for three years, when it was started by family science senior Meghan Houbolt. Houbolt is still the crew captain of the UK Love Your Melon campus crew, which was one of the first 350 crews formed. Today, there are more than 900.

Houbolt had the idea for the softball tournament, which is taking place at UK for the first time this year.

Sixteen inch softball is similar to regular softball, but a bigger ball and no gloves are used.

Houbolt said the sport is really popular in the southside of Chicago, where she is from. She said her community hosts softball tournaments that raise money for foundations or scholarships in honor of deceased loved ones.

“They are always a fun time and raise a ton of money,” she said. “I thought it would be something different and new that we could do here in Kentucky.”

Love Your Melon became involved with DanceBlue last year as a dance team. This year, Love Your Melon was looking for new ways to fundraise and reached out to DanceBlue about making the tournament a DanceBlue event, Houbolt said.

Tournament players and spectators will earn one DanceBlue spirit point. Spectators must pay $3 for admission.

The winning team will receive a $385 donation, which meets the minimum dancer fee for one dancer. The second and third place teams will receive $50 donations.

The tournament begins at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Pieratt Fields next to the Johnson Center.