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IUSB to host 24-hour dance marathon

Katie Peralta | Friday, March 28, 2008

Indiana University at South Bend (IUSB) will give Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students as well as the Michiana community a reason to get together and get down next month when it hosts its first annual 24-hour dance marathon in support of the South Bend Center for the Homeless (CFH).

The event will last from 12 p.m. to 12 p.m. on April 19 and April 20. Regis Philbin will kick off the festivities. He will introduce the lineup of main stage entertainment, which starts at 6 p.m. and will feature local bands.

According to Jacqueline Kronk, director of Development and Public Relations at CFH, the fundraiser is to raise awareness for the cause of homelessness.

Although they will be dancing for 24 straight hours, participants will be provided with 13 meals throughout the 24 hours in order to recharge. In addition, entertainment will be provided for those who do not want to dance.

“Other activities at the event do not require dancing – live bands, computer access, video game competitions, sports tourneys, socializing, listening to guests from the Center sharing their stories, and plenty of eating,” Kronk said.

The event will also feature a “family hour” towards the end, when CFH staff and residents will share their experiences with participants.

Participants can sign up for the event at danceforthehomeless.com. In addition to paying a $15 fee, dancers must raise at least $250 in pledges.

An easier option for students participating with friends is purchasing a “Miracle Pass” for a cost of $50, which allows ten students to participate in events from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday.

Kronk said that response to the event so far has been positive.

“The community has really embraced the event. I think they were ready for something outside the box,” she said.

The event has been heavily publicized on television, radio, and billboards,

“We’re confident and hopeful our marketing efforts will pay off big the day of the event … It’s a little bit of the ‘If you build it they will come’ mentality,” Kronk said.

Kronk also said although she is unsure of the exact number, IUSB is ready to handle thousands of participants.

“We’re prepared for thousands and with the way things are going with word spreading so much, we’re optimistic that the event will be a success,” she said.

To encourage students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross to attend, Kronk said IUSB is working to provide transportation to the dance site.

The event coincides with the annual Blue-Gold game on April 19, but Kronk said this is another good reason for students to consider buying a Miracle Pass.

“When determining a date for the dance marathon we took all high school and college academic calendars into consideration as well as other community events. This weekend is the first without spring breaks and vacations,” Kronk said.