University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Business graduate Mason Vechart ’17, of Brillion, turned his final capstone project into a global success, raising more than $23,525 to deliver 106,931 life-saving meals for starving children worldwide.
Marketing professor Michael Tippens gives his business growth and development students the simple instruction to “move the needle.” The students design their projects from concept to final evaluation. Tippins said he often receives marketing plans for growing a small business but was pleased to see a unique variety this semester.
Vechart’s project began to take shape after he learned that New Hope Church in Appleton was short donations needed to purchase the goal number of meal ingredients for their upcoming nonprofit Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) MobilePack event on June 9 and 10.
“After I heard my pastor talking about the gap in funding needed for the event, I decided that I could make a difference and decided that a bowl-a-thon might be a fun way to raise the additional funds,” Vechart said.
FMSC works to provide children with daily nutritious meals. Its MannaPack™ meal formulas are specifically designed to aid in reversing malnutrition, providing the protein, carbohydrates and key nutrients a child needs to thrive for only 22 cents per pack. FMSC partners with local organizations to raise money and host events in which volunteers hand-pack meals for starving children in more than 70 countries worldwide.
Vechart started with a goal of raising $5,000 to purchase the extra 22,500 needed meals. To get the word out about his bowl-a-thon, Vechart visited other area churches to ask for donations and volunteers for the day of the event. Area businesses stepped up to support the cause by money and gift cards for the silent auction. In addition, Vechart managed the marketing through social media, oversaw the bowl-a-thon registration and coordinated volunteer recruitment. On May 7, more than 100 bowlers and 10 groups of volunteers came to support the Feed My Starving Children Organization. Not only did Vechart hit his goal, he surpassed it by an additional $18,525.
“I am proud of what I accomplished for my community and for children around the world, but I couldn’t have done it without the generous people of the Fox Valley,” Vechart said.
Vechart, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s marketing and economics with an emphasis in sales, works as an underwriter at Guardian Life.