Marymount University sophomore Kevin Strickland has been holding bake sales for the past seven years to raise money for Nothing But Nets, a global grassroots campaign that fights malaria. So far, hes raised $54,000.
And Im going to keep doing this for as long as malaria exists, said Strickland, a Springfield resident who began with a bake sale for an eighth grade civics project. Im not stopping until I see it listed in the Center for Disease Controls storage area, right next to small pox.
For $10, the United Nations Foundation campaign provides an insecticide-treated net to families in Africa to protect them from malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Strickland was honored as one of 150 champions by Nothing But Nets in 2015.
The MU sociology and public health major is also a Spirit of Service Scholarship recipient.
Students are required to do 60 hours of service a semester, said Anne Aichele, director of the office of student leadership. Hes super-motivated about service, knew exactly what he was going to do and hit the ground running.
Strickland held his latest bake sale in his hometown of Springfield on April 25, World Malaria Day. He began baking when he was in kindergarten after watching cooking shows and learned about Nothing But Nets from an ad on Hulu.
A fan of vintage movies, hes created cupcake tributes to many of his favorite stars. A Marilyn Monroe-inspired creation, called Some Like it Hot, features spicy double hot chocolate filled with chocolate ganache, topped with caramel buttercream and garnished with red lips and a beauty mark.
People like sophisticated as well as simple, he said.
In March, he was on a panel discussion about fundraising for the Nothing But Nets annual conference in Washington, D.C. He was interviewed by BBC sports commentator Charlie Webster, a guest speaker at the conference who contracted malaria while on a charity bike ride from London to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Of course, I made her scones, Strickland said. Scones are like a religion over there.
Another famous supporter of Nothing But Nets is Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry (they follow each other on Instagram). During a 2015 visit to the White House to talk about the organization, President Barack Obama asked Curry, So wheres that kid who makes the cupcakes? Strickland said.
After Marymount, Strickland wants to own a cupcake truck in Washington, D.C., and donate 20 percent of his proceeds to Nothing But Nets.
For more information on the organization, visit nothingbutnets.net
Marymount University sophomore Kevin Strickland has been holding bake sales for the past seven years to raise money for Nothing But Nets, a global grassroots campaign that fights malaria. To date, hes raised $54,000.