To celebrate the 14th annual Dance Marathon, University of Dayton students danced for 14 hours to raise money for Dayton Children’s Medical Center Saturday, Nov. 10, in the RecPlex main gym. The event raised $51,029.87 for the center, surpassing their goal for this year.
According to Dance Marathon co-President Elizabeth Stoiber, a senior marketing and entrepreneurship major, the committee set higher goals than in previous years for the event.
“We continually grow each year with dancers and with fundraising,” Stoiber said. “Last year, we had 452 people registered, and this year we upped our goal to 500, which we reached. Last year we raised just over $30,000, and this year our goal was $50,000.”
Dance Marathon Vice President Laura Karn, a junior psychology major, also explained some changes in the structure, theme and location of the event.
“The big difference is that we were in the main gym this year instead of the MAC gym,” Karn said. “It’s been a new space to get used to and set up. We also extended our hours from 12 to 14 since it is our 14th year. This year, our overall theme was ‘Get Your Game On,’ which incorporated kid’s board games.”
Karn said 15 kids from Dayton Children’s Medical Center were also in attendance. Some of the children shared their stories about their diseases and time at the center, while others and their families came to enjoy the event.
This year, Stoiber said the committee expanded their marketing and advertising techniques to get the UD community and organizations more involved in Dance Marathon.
“We actually had a lot of help from Flyer Enterprises this year,” Stoiber said. “Seven of the divisions got on board to do balloon sales throughout October to benefit our goal. We also targeted Greek Life more this year.”
According to senior education major and Dance Marathon co-President Anne Weidner, the committee held table hours, produced fliers and used social media to remind students about the event.
Stoiber explained the biggest challenge they face every year is actually getting students to register.
“UD students don’t really plan a day in advance, let alone two weekends in advance,” Stoiber said. “I think one of our biggest challenges is getting people to follow through and register. Last year, registration cut off two weeks before Dance Marathon. This year, we cut it off on Thursday, Nov. 8, at midnight. We wanted to get as many registered dancers as possible, and I think extending registration helped meet our goal.”
While Weidner said Dance Marathon requires a significant amount of work and planning every year, it is well worth it in the end.
“The kids who come from the hospital are so inspiring,” Weidner said. “I want to do the best I can to make sure they, as well as my fellow students, have the best experience. It’s really great to see how everyone comes together at the event and works for the same cause. Just seeing the kid’s faces light up is so amazing.”