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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mililani teen a 'Huggable Hero' semi-finalist

Advertiser Staff

Mililani resident Melissa Monette, 17, has been named a semi-finalist in the 2010 search for Huggable Heroes, a Build-A-Bear Workshop program that honors young leaders for helping make their communities and the world a better place.

Melissa, one of 75 students recognized, is president of Kids Helping Kids with Diabetes, which educates, fundraises for research, and provides support services to people with type 1 diabetes. She works with schools to sell thousands of plastic shoes for her "Shoes in the Chute" shoe race. She has been able to collect more than $121,000 in funds and grants for the Hawai'i Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

In addition, Melissa also manages the nonprofit organization, A Harvest for Many Inc., which collects food for those in need. She has collected more than 32,000 pounds of food that is shared with 295 local food programs.

Ultimately, 10 Huggable Heroes will be selected. Each will receive $10,000 a $7,500 educational scholarship and $2,500 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to be donated to the charity of the Huggable Hero's choice. In addition, the Huggable Heroes will win a trip for themselves and a parent or guardian to St. Louis, home of the Build-A-Bear Workshop World Bearquarters. During their visit, they will have the opportunity to meet each other, participate in leadership opportunities and be honored for their good deeds.