Dance Marathon raises money for Children’s Miracle Network
TNE Editor

Dance Marathon raises money for Children’s Miracle Network

Published 10/31/18

Sara Ryals


TNE Writer


Dance Marathon is a nationwide movement to raise awareness for children in Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country. NSU specifically raises money for St. Francis Children’s Hospital in Tulsa.


In 1991, students at Indiana University founded Dance Marathon in the memory of Ryan White, a fellow student who passed away from HIV/AIDS. The program now spans across North America and benefits hospitals in the United States and Canada. Dance Marathon has become a tradition on many campuses and communities. NSU Dance Marathon began in 2016. The first year over $5,000 was raised for the children's hospital in Tulsa.


“I am apart of Dance Marathon because I am going to school to be a pediatric occupational therapist,” said Abby Mohr, Dance Marathon community engagement co-director. “I want to make a change in children’s lives and Dance Marathon is a great way to get started with it.”


The goal is to raise awareness for children who suffer from an array of illnesses. In 2018, the committee raised $14,093. The Dance Marathon executive committee’s goal for 2019 is $19,000. The fundraising concludes with an event on campus where students meet patient families treated at their local hospital, participate in games and dancing, enjoy entertainment and reveal their annual fundraising total.


“Dance Marathon is an amazing organization on campus that includes everyone and encourages everyone to care about something bigger than themselves,” said Elaine McDaniel, Dance Marathon social media executive chair. “These kids that we are raising money for need our help and encouragement to have a brighter future.”


Dance Marathon is the only children’s charity committed to having 100 percent of the funds raised stay local to support local children. Since inception, Miracle Network Dance Marathon has raised more than $250 million for children across North America, ensuring that no child or family fights pediatric illness or injury alone.


“Students can become involved in many different ways on campus,” said Mohr. “We have many fundraisers throughout the year that students can donate money to, as well as signing up for Dance Marathon and creating their donor drive. Once students create their donor drive they are able to post to their social media accounts and get others to donate under their name.”


As students donate money through their individual or organizational donor drive, the money is directly added to the campus total to keep track. Once a student completes their registration information, they are automatically provided a fundraising page. This page is considered a personal donor drive. Each student receives their own donor link to post to social media platforms. Students may also contribute to the event by volunteering.


“I dressed up as the character Cinderella,” said Brooke Hill, Fort Gibson sophomore. “I have always wanted to dress up as a princess and I want to be a bigger part of Dance Marathon so I decided this was a great way to get more involved. My favorite part was seeing the kid’s faces light up when they saw us.”


The Dance Marathon executive committee has worked to raise awareness in new ways. This year, they have decided to have Greek Olympics. Greek Olympics is compiled of different sporting events participated in by Greek organizations on campus.


“We are trying to reach out to schools and businesses in the Tahlequah community and in Tulsa.” said McDaniel. “This week is Greek week, so we are having a week long sporting competition. Organizations are raising money each day. The organization that raises the most at the end of the week will be declared the winner.”


Those on the Dance Marathon executive committee intend to go to great measures to raise the funds to meet their goal. In past years, committee members have completed dares if they reach certain funding amounts. Board members have bathed in chocolate syrup, drank blended Happy Meals and swallowed a live goldfish.


“The dares are a way for people to get creative with their fundraising as they promise to do crazy things if they raise a certain amount of money,” said Courtney Langley, Dance Marathon finance chair. “I think this makes this organization unique because we find unique ways like dares for Dance Marathon to engage with the people we are asking for money from.”


On the day of the event, students that have made the minimum donation will receive a t-shirt, food and the opportunity to dance and meet children receiving aid from the Miracle Network. They hear stories from patients and families impacted by the fundraising of Dance Marathon.


“My favorite part is when the children from the hospital come to the event,” said Shyla Harrell, Checotah junior and 2018 Dance Marathon participant. “It really puts everything into perspective on why the event is put on. I believe Dance Marathon impacts people because they realize they should not take life for granted.”


Some participants believe that the event has allowed NSU as a campus to become closer and stand for something more than a typical university could.


“I know that the money we raised has impacted so many children at St. Francis,” said Hannah Pike, Skiatook sophomore. “Dance Marathon itself has made an impact on students at NSU making us become closer as a school, showing us why it is important to give and donate to these kids.”


As the Dance Marathon executive committee looks to raise funding in the community, surrounding cities and from students, they have also reached out to the university.


“They received just less than 30 percent of their overall operating budget,” said Robbie Argo, Fiscal affairs committee chair. “They were able to obtain $3,000 for this year’s Dance Marathon.”


The committee continues to raise funding until the event. Dance Marathon 2019 is from 4 p.m. to

midnight on March 2. The minimum donation to participate in Dance Marathon activities is $20. The committee invites all to participate and learn more by visiting dancemarathon.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org.


To connect with NSU Dance Marathon via social media platforms, add them on Snapchat @NSUDM, Instagram or Twitter @riverhawkdm or Facebook facebook.com/riverhawkdm/.

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