Two teams have one dream, and Scooter’s co-owner Melanie Graeve is helping make that dream come true, one latte and croissant at a time.
Graeve, who co-owns the Scooter’s on South Missouri 7 in Blue Springs with her daughter Maddie Sykes – a former state champion and all-state softball player who recently graduated from the University of Missouri – donated 100 percent of the proceeds from all sales Saturday to help players from the Blue Springs and Blue Springs South football teams pay for their annual Won by One mission trip to Harmons, Jamaica.
Although the final totals are not available, more than $7,000 will be donated from Saturday sales.
What began as a small excursion eight years ago with Blue Springs assistant coach Matt Marble and a handful of Wildcats players, has grown to a two-school/two-team trip that is going to surpass 60 players and coaches this summer.
Marble and players from both teams met at Scooter’s Saturday morning and marveled at the way their community responded to their mission.
“This is amazing, just amazing,” said Marble, as cars in both the north and south bound lanes of Seven Highway spent several minutes attempting to pull into the crowded Scooter’s parking lot or drive through area that was manned by Maddie.
“This is the second year Melanie has done this, and it’s been amazing. Last year, I think she donated $4,200 and that helped so many of the players who just didn’t have the funds to make the trip. I can’t even come up with the right words to thank her for her generosity. She’s an amazing individual – and we are lucky enough to live in a community that cares about kids who are trying to make a difference in other people’s lives.”
Marble said he didn’t even approach Graeve about helping with a fundraiser.
“She came to us!” he said, smiling. “It’s great when a company or someone donates a portion of their sales, but for Melanie to donate 100 percent of her sales for an entire Saturday is pretty remarkable.”
Three members of the Wildcats football team stood in front of Scooter’s with banners, and were greeted with honking horns, thumbs up and every kudo imaginable.
“This is a humbling experience,” junior safety Azaiah Bello said, “to see this many people come up here to Scooter’s to help us raise money is just so humbling. I have never been a part of anything like this in my life.”
Craig Cox shared a banner with Ramond Brown, and called Saturday, “A great day. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Brown, whose older brother Brandon played football for the Wildcats and made the trip to Jamaica, added, “My brother said the trip to Jamaica changed his life. He said it was the most amazing experience of his life, but he had a hard time seeing all the people who needed so many things in Jamaica. He realized he and his teammates were really changing the lives of people and he still talks about the trip today.”
Graeve said this year’s special day was made even more special because she was able to share it with her daughter.
“It’s amazing to have Maddie as a co-owner,” Graeve said. “When I heard about their service trip to Jamaica, I wanted to do something. I thought about it, and it just got inside my heart and wouldn’t leave.”
She contacted Scooter’s corporate partners and told them that she wanted to donate all proceeds from one day’s sales, and the response was overwhelming.
“Not only did they say yes, Scooter’s now has an annual Day of Giving, where other stores get involved in activities like this. It makes me proud to be a part of Scooter’s.”