By: Anna Bruick
Dance marathon is a nationwide movement of colleges and high schools that raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In 1991, the first dance marathon started at Indiana University in memory of Ryan White. Today there are more than 250 colleges and high schools that hosts dance marathon across the country. Since 2003, Jagathon, IUPUI’s Dance Marathon, has raised over $172,000 for Riley Children’s Hospital, including $50,721 in 2013 alone!
Throughout the year, IUPUI students and organizations fundraise for Riley Hospital for Children’s Palliative Care Program. Our year is culminated by a 12-hour dance marathon to celebrate all the money we’ve raised and show our support for the kids: “We dance for those who can’t.” So what is a dance marathon? It is not all dancing! Dance marathon includes Riley kids and families who share their story, food, games, special guests (past guests include Matt Overton of the Indianapolis Colts), and much more! Visit http://sf.iupui.edu/jagathon/ for more information about Jagathon.
I attended Jagathon in November 2013 and quickly saw the impact the organization had on Riley Children’s Hospital. My roommate asked if I would like to get involved and I quickly seized the opportunity to become part of an amazing philanthropy for a local children’s hospital. I started with the communications committee as a photographer then as the Director of Marketing, where I worked on graphics, flyers, and other materials. One of my favorite tasks was organizing advertising coffee sleeves, which were used at Starbucks and Caribou on campus in February. Currently, I serve as the Vice President, where I assist the President with event and program strategy. This year I have a personal goal of raising $1,000 for the kids!
One of the most significant projects I helped with was obtaining Jagathon’s first high school mini marathon with my alma mater, Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne. After a couple trips to Fort Wayne, we secured our first mini marathon, whose proceeds would count towards to Jagathon’s total. As a school that has had many successful fundraising events, I anticipate Concordia will contribute a significant amount to Jagathon and Riley Hospital for Children.
A major component of making a dance marathon successful is gaining awareness of the organization in order to increase the funds raised and attendees at the event. Through my time with Jagathon, I have worked with Kelley Student Government and Delta Sigma Pi to join Jagathon in fundraising and to attend the dance marathon. Both organizations have raised money through canning, which is soliciting for charity with Red Riley Buckets. Through canning and donations alone, Delta Sigma Pi has raised over $500. In addition to canning, I assisted Kelley Student Government with hosting a fundraiser in November, where we handed out hot chocolate and cider for donations. We will also be hosting a similar fundraiser, Donuts to Donate, on March 3 at 10 a.m. in the Business Building Orange Space. Since November, Kelley Student Government has raised over $350 for the kids!
Dance marathon has become a movement that swept the nation and has raised more than $62 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Join the movement and help Jagathon raise $100,000 for the kids at Riley Hospital for Children! I hope to see you at Jagathon on March 6-7 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the Jungle at IUPUI’s Natatorium!