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Students dance to raise money for education

Photo courtesy of Jon Edgeton

Imagine living in a world where 20 cents will get you food for a day. Now imagine choosing to pay for an education, rather than food, with that 20 cents. This is an example of the decisions the children in Belize are faced with on a daily basis, and as a Drake student, you can help.

The second annual Belize Dance Marathon will take place on Feb. 18 from 6-10 p.m. in Upper Olmsted. Last year, the event raised $30,000, enough money to build an elementary school and send 100 students to high school. The event leaders hope to raise $50,000 this year to continue to make an impact in Belize.

James Albert, a Drake law professor, started the Belize Dance Marathon last year.

“Drake students fighting for these Mayan children really matters,” Albert said. “We’re the only university in the country raising money to build grade schools and send students to high school in Belize. They’ve got nobody else fighting for them. We’re their only hope.”

The event will be jam-packed with food, games, music and dancing. Just $10 will allow you to enter this four-hour party and give you an automatic entry for a trip to Las Vegas — all expenses paid.

Kale Van Bruggen, dancer relations of the marathon and a Drake Law School graduate, said that he is happy to raise money for the children in Belize.

“I want students to understand that this year, this fundraiser is our lifeline,” Van Bruggen said. “This is a group of people nobody has tried to help before.”

Helping these students won’t be hard if the student body works together, though. Van Bruggen said that the event is designed to bring people from different “classes, athletic teams, Greek life and everyone else on campus together.” In hopes for high attendance, student leaders have been working with their respective teams, houses and organizations to raise money for the cause.

“The Belize Dance Marathon isn’t going to feel like a fundraiser. It’s going to feel like a celebration,” said Michael Sage, a junior group leader.

Sage has found support from his Sigma Chi brothers. The entire house is signed up to attend.

“It’s a way for students to have a direct impact on the world,” Sage said.

At a glance…

– Saturday, Feb. 18

– 6 – 10 p.m.

– Organized by the James Arthur Albert Foundation

– $10 registration fee (includes a T-shirt)

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