By Emily Clute and Bailey Cummings
Rays of sunlight burst through the narrow windows of the Campus Center Ballroom as students danced the afternoon and night away at this year’s UAlbany Dance Marathon.
So far, the Dance Marathon has raised over seventeen thousand dollars out of their twenty thousand dollar goal and the registration list topped 300 participants.
All proceeds from the Dance Marathon will go to the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center. The Children’s Hospital is a member of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, who coordinates Dance Marathons at colleges across the country.
Unlike other charity events, the Dance Marathon is actually a year-long event. The fundraising begins at the beginning of the year—bake sales, flower sales, splash days and pie-in-the-face events all help to raise money towards the $20,000 goal. The Dance Marathon is the crowning event of the year-long efforts.
“It’s kind of a celebration of our efforts,” says Anika Lamia, Director of the UAlbany Dance Marathon. “Even if we make no money that day, it’s celebrating all of the efforts we have made throughout the year.”
The Dance Marathon raises funds outside of their events as well. Through their Donor Drive site, participants are able to create their own fundraiser page after registering, featuring their name and their reason for fighting for the cause. Once a page is made, donations can be made directly to that page in support of a participant in addition to the general donations that can be made.
One of the greatest features of the Donor Drive site, and the Dance Marathon event itself, is the ability for participants to build fundraising teams.
Student associations—the Dance Marathon E-Board, Gamma Rho Lambda, and the Student Organization Resource Center, to name a few—have banded together to help raise money.
Lamia says the building of these teams is one of the greatest outcomes of the event.
“When you have that big base of student organizations coming together for that one cause of helping the kids at the hospital, not only does it build a community at the school knowing that we’re all joining together for a good cause, it also helps every group intermingle at the actual event itself,” she said.
The Marathon, which operates as a program under the Office of Student Activities, is now in its sixth year. The event continues to grow, with bigger venues and a longer participant list every year.
Donations on the Donor Drive website will be taken until March 8, giving the teams one more week after the event to compete with each other for the top positions. In the end, the top two teams will be awarded a $500 dollar apparel order through the Office of Student Activities.
For more information on the Dance Marathon and a link to their Donor Drive site, visit their Instagram at @ualbany.dm.