SCOUT BANANA holds African healthcare fundraiser Tuesday


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Victoria Zegler/Staff Photographer Redford sophomore Melissa Scott dances to music while dressed in a banana suit to help support Serving Citizens Of Uganda Today Because Africa Needs an Ambulance (SCOUT BANANA), a non-profit RSO on campus, during a Valentine's Day fundraiser Tuesday afternoon in the downstairs of the Bovee University Center. SCOUT BANANA began in 2001 as an Eagle Leadership Service Project which has now spread to many college chapters across the United States who help raise awareness of the lack of basic health care in Africa as well as providing support to projects and organizations working in African communities.

Students seeing walking, talking, life-sized bananas in the Bovee University Center's Down Under Food Court Tuesday were not experiencing hunger hallucinations.

People could donate and have their photo taken with a SCOUT BANANA member dressed in a banana costume as part of their Valentine’s Day event.

“SCOUT BANANA, which stands for Serving Citizens of Uganda Because Africa Needs a New Ambulance, is a nonprofit organization that raises money for healthcare for children and adults of Africa,” said the organization’s Vice President Kristin Johnson.

The Marine City junior, wearing a banana suit, said the RSO started out as a Boy Scout Eagle Project.

“We’re just trying to get the name out there and have everybody be healthy,” Johnson said. “I believe everybody needs health care, and without it we’re basically nothing. Especially with their health conditions over there, we have to do everything we can to help out.”

Every 15 seconds a child dies from unsafe drinking water in Uganda, according to www.scoutbanana.org.

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Victoria Zegler/Staff Photographer Redford sophomore Melissa Scott, right, laughs with West Bloomfield freshman Julias Cantuba after a photo opportunity with members of Serving Citizens Of Uganda Today Because Africa Needs an Ambulance (SCOUT BANANA), a non-profit RSO on campus, during a Valentine's Day fundraiser Tuesday afternoon in the downstairs of the Bovee University Center. SCOUT BANANA began in 2001 as an Eagle Leadership Service Project which has now spread to many college chapters across the United States who help raise awareness of the lack of basic health care in Africa as well as providing support to projects and organizations working in African communities.

Central Michigan University students are raising money for VVOCF, a youth center in South Africa.

Mary Stanley, SCOUT BANANA secretary, said $1 can supply health care for a child for a week.

“Yesterday we raised $87 in just a couple hours,” the St. Clair Shores junior said. “That is such a big achievement for us because since we raised $87, we just saved 87 kids for one week with health care.”

Though it was worn for a charitable cause, the fruit suit caused some confusion.

Middleville Junior Jackie Hodges said she got used to the double-takes from people walking past.

“I just dance around pretty much to attract people,” Hodges said. “I just say, 'Hi,' and shake it off, because really, how often do you see a person in a banana suit?”

After people had their photo taken with someone in the banana suit, they could find it on the CMU SCOUT BANANA’s Facebook page to tag themself.

The event was more about getting the RSO's name out on campus rather than raising a lot of money, said Sparta freshman Alex Woolworth.

“There’s about 15 to 20 people in the group right now, so that’s why we want to make all of our events really out there so people notice it,” Woolworth said.

SCOUT BANANA meetings are held at 7 p.m. Mondays in Pearce Hall 107.


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