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Saint Mary’s students dance for charity

| Monday, April 7, 2014

From noon to midnight Saturday, Dance Marathon hosted its ninth annual fundraiser for Riley Hospital for Children in the Angela Athletic Facility.
Senior Dance Marathon co-president Ellen Smith said every cent of the $86,765.70 raised during the 12-hour event benefited the children at Riley in many ways.
Junior co-president Kristen Millar said the essence of Dance Marathon is to stand for those who can’t.
“Twelve hours represents the hours in a clinical shift, 12 hours in a chemotherapy session and there are 12 different types of pediatric cancer,” Millar said. “Thus standing for those 12 hours is a symbol of perseverance.”
Millar said Saint Mary’s is a great place to carry on the tradition of Dance Marathon, raising funds and caring for those impacted by Riley.
“Dance Marathon directly gives funds to the hospital but also sends unending love and support to the children and families at Riley,” Smith said.
Families who have been impacted by the hospital were invited to speak at the event. Smith said this aspect of the even is a very important tradition.
“[The families] remind us why we dance, for those children who can’t,” Smith said.
“Saint Mary’s is a unique place in that it is all women, and regardless of time it has remained true to its mission from the [Riley Foundation],” Millar said. “Dance Marathon was started nine years ago by two girls who were profoundly impacted by Riley’s Hospital for Children.
“Although Notre Dame is a tremendous school with abundant resources, Saint Mary’s will always be a small school with a big heart.”
Millar said the turnout at this year’s event was the best Dance Marathon has had yet.
“We had so many people stay the full 12 hours, which was very inspiring,” Millar said.
Smith said she hopes Dance Marathon will continue to raise awareness for the hospital in upcoming years
“I think it is so important for Saint Mary’s students to participate in Dance Marathon because it gives us all a chance to help others who desperately need and deserve our love and support,” Smith said.
Sophomore Public Relations/Dancer Relations Committee Member Katie Morrissette said she fell in love with Dance Marathon her first year and have continue to be involved ever since.
“It’s inspiring to see the amount of girls so invested in the cause, especially because many of them haven’t been affected directly, but have been impacted by the Riley stories,” Morrissette said.
Morrissette said the event was rewarding, especially at the end when the total amount fundraised was revealed:.
“After the 12 hours, when our total was revealed, we could put a number to how much work we’ve done,” Morrissette said. “It’s rewarding knowing all of that is going to families like the ones we interacted with at our own marathon.”

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About Kelly Konya

Kelly Konya is an English major bred on Catcher in the Rye and Roman cornettos.

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