By: Markell McCoy
Dance Marathon includes a lot more than it entitles: Food, games, fun, music, and most importantly the kids. Dance Marathon is a nationwide event that over 700 universities participate in annually to raise money for Children’s Mercy Hospitals. The University of Findlay’s Dance Marathon events are specifically for the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Toledo, Oh.
This year, the Dance Marathon will be held on Nov. 11 in the FRC. Check-in will begin around 11:45 a.m.
The purpose of Dance Marathon is to stand as many of the children are in hospital beds and cannot. Madison Arnold, a junior at UF, is the Internal Director on the Dance Marathon Board at The University of Findlay.
“We always say ‘We stand for the kids that can’t,’ or ‘We dance for the kids that can’t,’” Arnold said. “Everything we do is for the kids. Our motto is ‘For the Kids.’”
Each year, UF sets a goal to raise a certain amount of money for CMH-Toledo via the Dance Marathon events.
“This year, our goal is $40,000 to buy 36 brand new bottle warmers for the NICU (The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), to help buy preemie diapers, and help go towards an incubator bed for the babies,” stated Arnold.
This is not a new organization to the University. Emily Siefker, the assistant director on the board of Dance Marathon, says there is history behind the organization.
“About eight years ago there were a group of students who were passionate about the cause,” said Siefker. “They held our first event and they raised around $1,000.”
Within eight years, the Dance Marathon group has progressively made its way to raising $33,000 last year for CMH-Toledo.
UF Student, Paige McCort, serves as the executive director on the board of the Dance Marathon group. McCort says Circle K is the organization that puts on the Dance Marathon events throughout the year. She also explains the event covers a wide range of needs.
“This includes all children, it’s not just cancer, it’s not just a particular disease,” said McCort. “It could be a trauma, it could be for a one night stay, or staying there for weeks. It goes towards all of them.”
The money does not just come in a large sum at one main event. Dance Marathon hosts multiple events throughout the year, but finishes with one main event. This year the main event is on Saturday, Nov. 11.
Arnold expresses that everyone is encouraged to attend and the small cost that is required to participate in this life-changing event is worth it.
“Anyone on campus is welcomed to come, anyone off campus, in the community is welcomed to come,” Arnold states. “It’s open to everybody. It is $10 to register, but when you register, you get access to the event, all the meals, and if you raise any money you get a T-shirt.”
Participants collect many other small items at the event as well, such as glow sticks, and other fun knickknacks.
Meredith Shepherd, a junior at UF, knew nothing about the event until she participated, but was excited to hang out with the kids.
“The event exceeded my expectations! It was a great day,” Shepherd said. “I would definitely go again.”
“It’s called Dance Marathon, but we do a lot more than dance,” Arnold explained. Without giving away any big surprises, or details, there will be a musical performance during the event on Nov. 11.
According to McCort, the biggest part of the event is that participants get to meet the miracle kids. So far, there are nine kids signed up to attend, one of which will be performing one of her special talents. Each year, the event is different. This year there is a lot planned for the 10 hour event, with plenty of special surprises.