Sending Love into the Universe

By Jenah Schwabel

Nothing warms the hearts of others, like the random acts of kindness.  Six students who are a part of the Hilbert Franciscan class were assigned a project to teach their class the meaning of compassion and how it is a part of our everyday lives. Compassion is one of the eight values the college strongly stands by.Continue Reading

How Much is Your Love Worth?

By Jenah Schwabel

Valentine’s Day, a holiday that makes single individuals depressed, and couples stressed.  Candy makers, florists, and jewelers have a busy week ahead of them as consumers are expected to bring in $17.2 billion in Valentine’s Day sales this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

“For most couples, the expectation is that regardless of what the economic situation is,” Ron Hill, a professor at the Villanova University, said in a statement. “Love is one of the few things that we think has that infinite value.”

According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, the average person spends nearly $116 on Valentine’s Day.  That’s 198 million roses grown, 58 million pounds of chocolate sold, and 174,000 gallons of wine consumed for the holiday.

“We have a crazy busy week leading up to the day, especially if the holiday falls on a week day, as most men send their valentines flowers at work” said Shenise Satanek, whose family owns Hess Brothers Florists in the Village of Hamburg.  Hess Brothers itself has been in business for 91 Valentine’s Days, as of this year.  The brothers opened up for business the week of Valentine’s Day in 1926. “We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver in a wide range area, we do this by helping other florists out and each florist takes deliveries to specific areas so we can deliver as many arrangements as possible to each area,” she said.

Americans began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made unique creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today the American Greeting Card Association estimates that 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year.

For many couples, the holiday can be more about your relationships future than it is about just impressing someone with elaborate gifts. According to an American Express report, nearly six million couples are likely to get engaged on Valentine’s Day.

“I’m actually working on a customized engagement ring now for a gentleman who plans to propose on Valentine’s Day,” said Heather Kolb, owner of Trevington Jewelers in the village. “Sales also rise in smaller token gifts of jewelry as well”.

A whole new level of attention brought to one of Buffalo’s historic sites.

By Jenah Schwabel

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Imagine traipsing around an 18 floor, 450 roomed building searching for spiritual existence that has been rumored to haunt one of Buffalo’s most historic hotels. For 72-hours, hosts of TLC’s “Paranormal Lockdown” documented their journey of the Statler City Hotel, which premiered to the public last Friday night.

After hearing about intense activity that takes place in the Statler, Ghost hunters, Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman, decided to bring the show to Buffalo.

Groff said the 95-year old building is one of the coolest and most active buildings they have ever explored.  It is roughly 950,000 square-feet- making this the largest site they have ever investigated. It may be true that thousands of guests have entered the Statler Hotel since its opening in 1921, but legends say that not everyone has left. He also stated that the hotel is rated one of their top ten favorite investigated locations because of the activity, history, and stories behind it.

Many believe ghosts linger throughout the hotel to this day, leaving many visitors with a story or two to tell.  Employees- along with many wedding goers- speak about the many encounters they have had with the spirits.  The activity has drawn a number of paranormal teams- including Groff and Weidman- to investigate.

“The stories that came out of there are possibly tied to some of the history, which I always find fascinating when you can tie certain activities to the past,” Weidman said. “It makes a stronger case that maybe a spirit is somebody who passed away and is coming back to communicate somehow.”

During the investigation the team experienced most activity in the Terrace Room, the Ballroom, the lower floor nightclub, along with the Turkish baths- a pool room located in the basement. They concluded that their findings validated claims from people who previously saw or heard unusual things.

The Statler City Hotel was once the site of Millard Fillmore’s home on Deleware Avenue.  After the property was sold, the hotel was built as the largest of its kind, being the first hotel in the United States to have bathrooms in each room. Thousands of guests have stayed at the Statler over time but some stand out more than others.  John F Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt held many closed-door meetings at the hotel, famous mobster Al Capone was a frequent guest, and Elvis Presley was even stayed a time or two.

“Paranormal Lockdown” launched back in March 2016 and is the first paranormal TV series to conduct multi-day investigations. Hosts, Groff and Weidman, walk amongst the dead in some of America’s most haunted places. The group said they are interested in returning to Buffalo in the future for another visit. Doors have been opened to many hidden secrets that linger within the Statler City Hotel- secrets that have yet to be answered.

Fashion for a Cause

By Jenah Schwabel

Stephanie Cartonia began at Hilbert in the fall of 2016 as a sophomore transfer student. Right away, she said, she wanted to get involved in an activity that could help make a difference in peoples’ lives.

She learned about the Love Your Melon Campus Crew program, and decided that’s what she wanted to bring here to Hilbert.

“I have always loved the mission and the story of Love Your Melon even before I came to Hilbert.  I love helping and volunteering with children and giving back.  I bought a LYM hat to support them and the cause,” Cartonia said.

Love Your Melon is a trendy beanie company helping children fight pediatric cancer.  The brand was created by two college students from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.  What started out as a college entrepreneurial project quickly became much more.  Their starting mission was to give half of their profits to pediatric cancer charities such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, and many others.  The students set up a Love Your Melon lemonade stand with a box full of beanies on their campus.  Within two days they sold out.  Soon, Love Your Melon’s name spread across the country and many people became supporters.

These comfortable beanies are starting to be seen everywhere, as people love the story behind them.  The beanie is sold in many different styles and colors.  They are made of 100% cotton and designed to be soft enough for the sensitive skin of those undergoing cancer treatments.  The company has donated over $2.5 million to cancer research and have seen a 600 percent growth year to year since its founding in 2012.  A company co-founder said in an interview with the Twin Cities Pioneer Press that part of Love Your Melon’s success was that it has been embraced by professional athletes and musicians, whose support helps raise awareness of their brand.

The Love Your Melon Campus Crew Program is responsible for promoting the beanies at their campuses and in their local communities.  It is designed for students that are determined to improve the lives of children battling cancer, and raise awareness.  The program enlists over 12,000 college students across the U.S.  As the crew completes different challenges new credit levels will be opened and the crew can earn exclusive gear, as well as visiting local pediatric cancer patients to donate hats.

If you want to get involved in the new Hilbert LYM crew, you should contact Stephanie Cartonia.  After being accepted by the company to start a campus crew here, she is now in the final stages of Hilbert making this an official club for our campus.  The club is expected to be up and running within the next month.