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'Cool' cause capitalizes on Greek custom

By Mekenna Sandstrom
On April 18, 2014

Spring is here, and Greek formals are in full swing at Miami. And that means it is time for cooler painting, a longstanding tradition where a girl will paint a cooler for a fraternity formal she is attending and present it to her date.

This year, Nourish International is harnessing the popularity of the tradition to help reduce poverty around the world through a first-time event called "Coolers for a Cause."

"Coolers for a Cause" is a drive that sells coolers and supplies to formal-going members of the Greek community. The items are available for purchase online at and can be picked up at Shriver. The coolers are already sanded, caulked and primed when people receive their order, so all they have to do is begin painting. Cooler prices range between $32 and $45.

Adrienne Carey, a junior and member of Nourish International, explained the inspiration behind the drive this year.

"We knew a lot of people would be looking for coolers this time of year for formals," Carey said. "So we bought them ahead of time in bulk so we could make a profit."

What many people outside Greek life may not realize is how expensive and time-consuming cooler painting can be. Betsey Clark, who is a member of Delta Delta Delta recently attended a fraternity formal with a cooler of her own.

"I had a lot of time in advance so that helped with the process," Clark said. "Painting is de-stressing for me so I would work on it part by part while I took a break from something else."

Nourish International saw an opportunity to make it easier for student to buy cooler supplies while also turning a profit to benefit their cause. Carey said the group looked at the math when considering the drive, and found they could have more than just a few customers.

"We looked at the number of men in fraternities and that meant that thousands of girls would be making coolers," Carey said.

The sale began April 6 and so far, Nourish International has made around $1,000.

"This is our first year doing this [drive]," Carey said. "We did not expect so many people to be interested and we are definitely going to do it next year."

Carey also said the group would order supplies even further in advance for next year's formal season.

The drive will continue until formals have ended near the end of the semester.

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