SMC Dance Marathon sets goal for charitable donation
Gina Twardosz | Friday, October 27, 2017
The Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon is hoping to raise more money than ever before for Riley Children’s Hospital this year through a combination of ambitious goals and enthusiastic students.
Senior Shannon Witt, the executive of Riley family outreach for SMC Dance Marathon, said the 2017-2018 goal is to raise $130,000 for Riley Children’s Hospital and get more community members involved in the process.
“This year, our goal is to raise $130,000 by April 7, the day of our marathon,” she said in an email. “We hope to spread the awareness of what Dance Marathon is all about to everyone in the tri-school community, South Bend and beyond. We want to more people involved — not just at Saint Mary’s but also with Holy Cross and Notre Dame.”
Senior Margaret Cox, co-executive of fundraising for the marathon, said in an email that 2018 is a special year for SMC Dance Marathon.
“SMC Dance Marathon is going to have a great year because this is our ‘million-dollar year,’” she said. “This means over the lifetime of SMCDM, we will have sent over a million dollars to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis.”
Senior Alaina Murphy, executive of public relations for the marathon, said some other goals include student outreach and distribution of information.
“We have a few other goals that aren’t necessarily dollar amount-related,” she said. “This year, we really wanted to push what Dance Marathon is. The feedback we’ve gotten is that not many girls understand what Dance Marathon is and what it is that we do. We also want students to know, if they do decide to donate, what their money is going towards.”
Cox said the money SMC Dance Marathon donates impacts the quality of life at Riley Hospital.
“These goals are so important because the money we fundraise for Riley Hospital greatly impacts the quality of the hospital and the care the children are provided,” she said. “Dance Marathon is important to children’s hospitals around the country because it raises money that really improves the time Riley kids spend at the hospital. While at the hospital, you can truly see which rooms and sections have been donated due to Dance Marathon fundraising. It is a miracle to see the passion of high school and college students help the lives of sick kids around the world.”
Recently, Cox said, SMC Dance Marathon executives got the opportunity to visit Riley Hospital and see how the contributions from the marathon affect life at the hospital.
“The SMCDM executives were fortunate to visit Riley Hospital this fall and see what the donations from Dance Marathon really help towards,” she said. “Our contribution to Riley makes Saint Mary’s a recognized national spokesperson for Dance Marathon. In 2011, a room in the newly opened Riley Hospital Simon Family Tower was named in honor of Saint Mary’s students’ passionate efforts to raise money year after year.”
Witt said SMC Dance Marathon will be hosting smaller events before the day of the actual marathon in order to raise awareness about Riley Hospital. One of the biggest of these events will be ‘Giving Tuesday,’ she said.
“Our biggest awareness/fundraising day is on ‘Giving Tuesday,’ the Tuesday after Thanksgiving,” Witt said. “On this day, we will be have Dance Marathon tables at a couple of spots around campus where people can learn about Dance Marathon and our Riley kids.”
Dance Marathon will also host a fundraiser in February to raise awareness, Cox said.
“Another big event will be our Riley Week, hosted Feb. 12-16, which helps us fundraise and raise awareness for Riley Children’s Hospital and SMCDM,” she said. “All our fundraising leads up to April 7, which is the official day of SMC Dance Marathon.”
Murphy said she wants students to understand Dance Marathon’s message and encourage others to participate.
“Overall, from a PR perspective, I just want to make sure the message of what Dance Marathon is all about comes across,” she said. “I hope more people want to get involved, whether that be showing up to the marathon itself, or coming to other events we have during the year.”
Everything that Dance Marathon does, Witt said, it accomplishes on behalf of the kids at Riley Hospital.
“Dance Marathon matters because it helps kids become kids again,” she said. “It shows the children at Riley that they are special and loved, and that there are so many people who hoping and rooting for their recovery.”