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2011 UMD Dance Marathon
There are no victims in this cause, there are only resilient children of the Gillette Children’s Hospital. The spirit of the patients is what motivates the second Dance Marathon at UMD, Friday through Saturday, February 24-25. The dance marathon is part of a nationally coordinated fundraiser that brings people together to celebrate the perseverance that the children’s hospitals exude.
The overnight event begins Friday, February 24 at 7 pm featuring multiple DJs, music performers, free food, games, and group dance lessons. The dance marathon, which ends the following morning at 6 am, is in conjunction with a national movement to raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The cross-country system of hospitals works to raise money locally and donate the funds locally.
The Gillette Children’s Hospital is the Duluth network hospital where the not-for-profit establishment in St. Paul, Minnesota specializes in caring for children who have disabilities and traumatic injuries. The focus of the hospital allows for a standard of care that translates into a community of trust that inspires and heals on a daily basis.
Senior liberal arts student, Anna Tucker, who is the director of the event and a member of the UMD sorority Phi Sigma Sigma, was moved by the entire organization. “This is the second Dance Marathon at UMD. We are continually expanding into the community, and we hope to raise as much as we can. We do all of this for the kids and hope to raise as much as we possibly can for them, because after all, it is the least we can do.”
The event has taken a year to put together. For UMD students, having the event on-campus is the ideal location, but choosing the location has been the easy part; coordinating DJ's, dancers to teach the moves, live performers, free food and local businesses as sponsors makes the planning a full-scale commitment. UMD’s support has been instrumental in making the event come to fruition. According to the online pledge-site, the event hopes to generate $50,000 to donate to the Gillette Children’s Hospital. Kirby Student Center, Kirby Program Board, and Late Night Kirby have been actively involved in the planning and sponsoring of the event. At the same time, UMD students and groups have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure the event focuses on the children and not themselves. “We do this for the brave children who undergo surgeries and survive traumas,” said Tucker. “Putting this together is just a small way to start giving back to them.”
The committee encourages everyone to show off their shim-sham, hustle, twist, and moon-walk for a fun-filled night dedicated to the art of dance and the Gillette Children’s Hospital. If you are unable to make it to the event but would like to contribute, please contact Phi Sigma Sigma.
Written by Jessica Coffin, February 2012.
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