Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 15:11
On Saturday, the Bee the Cure Banquet is scheduled to end a packed week of social entrepreneurship events on campus. Founded byTori Mayernick, the Davidson Hives for Lives club is the first chapter in a growing college campus franchise model for the Hives for Lives organization.
The Bee the Cure Banquet, to be held at 6:30 pm in the Lilly Family Gallery, will double as an awareness event to introduce Hives for Lives to the community as well as a launch party to celebrate the sale of Hives for Lives honey in local stores. Accompanying the honey-filled dinner will be a short presentation about the background of Hives for Lives and a panel on social entrepreneurship. Three panelists will illustrate the importance of Hives for Lives and social entrepreneurship for our community. The first, a Davidson student cancer survivor, will speak about his personal story and the gravity of the problem Hives for Lives addresses. Following him will be a representative from the UNC LinebergerComprehensive Cancer Center, the research center to which Hives for Lives donates, who will discuss the ways in which this problem can be solved. Lastly, a social entrepreneur will explain the ins and outs of this type of civic engagement. “We hope that the event will inspire people to get involved with Hives for Lives whether by joining the club, purchasing a jar of honey or just telling a friend about our work,” saidTori.
Impelled to act after their grandfather died of cancer, Tori’s best friend Molly Houlahan and her little sister Carly founded the nationally successful organization at the ages of 9 and 11. With help from family and friends they bottled and labeled honey that came from hives in their backyard and donated the proceeds to cancer organizations. As demand grew, they partnered with Dutch Gold Honey who helps them find local sources of honey in every region where Hives for Lives is sold as well to distribute the honey to stores all over the country. “Almost ten years later,” Tori extols, “Hives for Lives honey is now sold in Whole Foods Market stores across the country, has raised over $200,000 and has developed a network of ‘helper bees’ that span the nation.”
The idea to expand to college campuses came from the knowledge that college students would embrace an opportunity to help in the fight against cancer but also the need educate young, energetic and intelligent people about the power of social entrepreneurship. “The goal of the club extends beyond that of finding a cure for cancer,” Torisaid. “The most central mission is to educate youth about entrepreneurship by allowing them the ability to run their own business and to demonstrate through a hands-on approach that business can be a force for good.”
Grant Thomas, head of the Civic Engagement Council (CEC), also feels that it is important for Davidson students to become aware of the possibilities of social entrepreneurship. Concerned with the community’s narrow understanding of what civic engagement can be, Grant is aware that many students are unenthusiastic about the time commitment involved with direct, hands-on service work like holding a fundraiser or participating in a Habitat build. “I think that here at Davidson,” said Thomas, “where we are blessed to have a plethora of brilliant and industrious students, social entrepreneurship provides an avenue where these students can use their specific talents in a positive way.” By combining their own ambitions and business skills with a responsibility to their community and world, more Davidson students could get involved in a way that is sustainable and appealing to them.
The Bonner Scholars will start the week with an event called “Social Entrepreneurship with Social Venture Partners” on Monday in the 900 Room, to be followed by the CEC event on Thursday and the Bee the Cure Banquet on Saturday.
The Civic Engagement Council is hosting an event on Thursday titled “Social Entrepreneurship: An Innovative Approach to Changing the World” that will allow some of the social entrepreneurship clubs to explain their causes and the impact they have on the Davidson campus. “I believe it is an important event because it will be able to bring publicity to the noble work that these groups are doing as well as teaching the campus about what social entrepreneurship is, how it’s a unique and innovative approach to service and civic engagement, and how they could get involved,” explained Thomas.