By: Ryan Pattee, News Director
On Saturday, January 25, Iowa State Dance Marathon hosted its annual Big Event, a celebration of every participant’s hard work throughout the year and fundraised $340,552.23.
Each year members are required to fundraise a certain amount of money each year for the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Depending on what position they had some members had to raise at least $200 while others needed to fundraise $500.
While each member will continue fundraising until March 1, the big event allowed the dancers to see the miracle kids who were/are directly affected by their fundraising efforts. The event commenced with a cacophony of noise as music and screaming participants burst into the Memorial Union ready for the day to begin. Shortly after miracle families, with their sponsor, came up on stage as they were introduced, running through the crowd as everyone cheered. After everyone had been announced, Dance Marathon listed off every single Angel Kid, children who were a part of Dance marathon, but unfortunately had passed away. The lights were dim and a candle was brought up for every single angel. After a moment of silence, Dance Marathon resumed the festivities by performing the morale dance. The morale dance is a coordinated dance so to a mixture of various songs and videos that played every hour.
After teaching the morale dance, teams broke out into different sessions, while families were allowed to enjoy the day’s festivities. Events included family stories, where miracle families could talk about their experience against cancer, heart disease and a number of other fatal illnesses, breakout sessions where teams could meet one-on-one with miracle families to learn their story and of course dancing.
Each hour prompted the dancers to reach out and fundraise more and more money from family members, strangers, loved ones or anyone else for charity. Every single dollar being made was going to Dance Marathon’s goal of raising $700,000 through 2019-2020 for Hemodynamics, a preventative software program that could spot potential dangers in neonatal and infant’s heart and lungs, stopping them before they become a larger problem. After last year’s total fundraising Iowa State Dance Marathon has made this goal.
Following the conclusion of the big event, Dance Marathon opened its executive committee positions for new members. For more information on Dance Marathon, you can visit them on their website to learn how to join, donate or get involved.