College student entrepreneurs present University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital with $1,600 donation

Three college entrepreneurs presented the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital...
Three college entrepreneurs presented the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital with a check for more than $1,600 Saturday after their success selling winter gloves inspired by the "Iowa Wave." (Aaron Scheinblum, KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Feb. 9, 2019 at 5:18 PM CST
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A trio of college students is expanding a Hawkeye tradition that typically takes place in the fall, into the winter.

Saturday the three young entrepreneurs presented the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital with a donation showing off their hard work.

For many eastern Iowans, the "Iowa Wave" has become synonymous with the "Iowa Nice" mentality that many have grown accustomed to.

The special tradition at Kinnick Stadium inspired a 20-year-old Dubuque native and two of his friends to keep the wave warm for the winter months.

"I just figured it was something that everybody in Iowa could connect to," said Rian Weber, the founder of WhyWear Clothing, and a junior at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

When Weber, along with his friends and co-workers Austin Coats and Travis Warden, presented staff members at the hospital with the check, there was no crowd or applause- it was just the small group, all with smiles on their faces.

"I know cancer does horrible things to people and people's families," said Weber. "It means a lot that we can at least help a little bit."

Despite the lack of an audience, the trio came dressed to impress- all three were wearing suits, with a goal of working to make a new tradition in honor of a nationally-recognized one.

"There was just something in me that wanted to do more than I was already doing," Weber said. "I thought this would be a great idea- because I'm a big Iowa fan and because the Iowa Children's Hospital does so much good."

WhyWear Clothing, up until recently, sold one item: Iowa-inspired mittens. A portion of their proceeds go right to the children's hospital in Iowa City, and the money is certainly appreciated by the hospital and its staffers.

"I think it's amazing that people want to do these kinds of projects for the children's hospital," said Molly Rossiter, who serves works in Marketing and Communications for University of Iowa Health Care. "Financial donations are always needed and welcomed."

The money donated Saturday represents only about three months of hard work since the trio only started taking orders in November 2018.

Considering that money comes from three college entrepreneurs, Rossiter says it is surprising, but not unexpected.

"[At the hospital] we work with a lot of college students and they never cease to amaze me- the things that these kids are capable of," Rossiter said.

Weber said he knows they likely will not sell winter gloves after these colder months pass, so he and his team are planning to back to the drawing board to come up with more items.

"We're just going to keep putting our ideas together and keep raising as much money as we can because cancer's something that's not going away right now," Weber said. "If everybody does a little bit, we can make a big difference."

For more information on WhyWear Clothing and the products offered,