In 100 days, the Drake University Dance Marathon will shuffle onto the scene.
“Dance Marathon is a philanthropic organization affiliated with the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network,” said junior Katie Weiler, an accounting and management double major. She is also the co-president of the Drake Dance Marathon.
“We provide year-round support for families with children suffering from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses unlike any other organization by visiting the kids during treatment and personalizing the experience they get as Dance Marathon families,” Weiler said.
During the big debut on Jan. 21, 2012 in Parents Hall, students will gather to celebrate the survivors and remember those who have passed away. From noon to 8 p.m., attendees will dance, enjoy live DJs, bands, entertainment, food and more. The goal for this year is to get 200 people at the event, which is two-thirds of the people on the contact list from the fall activities fair.
“To make its first year of operation a success, the Dance Marathon crew is working on getting a swing band, the Isiserettes Drill and Drum Corp., and the Drake Dance Team as entertainment. The organization also wants to include an “electronics room” donated by Best Buy.
There will be opening and closing ceremonies to honor the children from the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and their families to remind patrons of what Dance Marathon is about,” said junior Rebecca Mataloni, a news/Internet major and co-president of Drake Dance Marathon.
Currently, there is one family represented by Drake Dance Marathon and 16 others are considering it. The Champion family of Altoona, Iowa, has been extremely grateful so far.
“My favorite part about participating in Dance Marathon is getting to know the families,” Mataloni said. “Just to see their eyes light up when they hear me talk about what we’re doing; they’re so thankful. The kids stay so positive, and they don’t complain about anything. They are just happy to be alive.”
Dancers can register online and send a personal link from their fundraising page to family and friends for donations. The group wants each person to raise $100. Students can sign up in groups of 10 or as individuals. These groups can be from the same organization or it can just be a group of friends wanting to participate. There will be competitions for social Greek life, professional fraternities and more.
The nearest upcoming event for Dance Marathon is a blood drive on Dec. 1. Dance Marathon will work together with Rainbow Union for World AIDS Day.
For more information, go to helpmakemiracles.org/event/drakedm or add Drake Dance Marathon on Facebook. Follow it on Twitter with the handle @dudancemarathon. Also, you can contact the organization via email at email@example.com.