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Dance marathon begins fundraiser

Mandi Stirone | Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Students walking across Saint Mary’s campus this week may notice the nearly 50 women wearing white t-shirts with the slogan “2 Legit 2 Sit” in blue letters across the front.

They are student members of the Dance Marathon committee, who are promoting “Whiteout Week” the first week of registration for Saint Mary’s biggest fundraising event, the Dance Marathon, said Francesca Johnson, co-president of the annual Dance Marathon.

The Dance Marathon is held each year to raise funds for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. This year’s “Dance for Chance” Marathon will be held from 8 p.m. on April 4 to 8 a.m. on April 5.

Each night this week a different dorm will host registration for the upcoming Marathon. The registration locations are Monday in Holy Cross Hall, Tuesday in Regina Hall, Wednesday in Le Mans Hall, Thursday in McCandless Hall and Friday in Le Mans, according to small fliers that were handed out door-to-door.

Wearing the shirts all week is “really a way to catch people’s attention,” Johnson said. In addition, the executive board will be wear their Dance Marathon polo shirts to attract attention to the cause and to show the number of people involved at Saint Mary’s, she said.

The two Public Relations committee co-chairs, Sarah Voss and Kelly Deranek, came up with the idea, Johnson said.

It was their goal to “plaster the campus” with Dance Marathon’s information, co-president Pauline Kistka said.

The co-chairs came up with the idea at a conference where they saw that another school did “Teal Tuesdays.” They chose the first week of registrations because “it’s our biggest week to promote the marathon,” Deranek said.

The committee wants participants to register this week so it can proceed with its letter-writing campaign before the Dance Marathon, Kistka added.

“It’s really important to get people to sign up this week so we can raise money to help the kids,” Voss said.

At the registration locations students are asked to fill out a packet, give their $12 registration fee and provide contact information for the committee’s letter writing campaign, Johnson said. Students can also download registration forms off the Dance Marathon’s Web site she said.

“At this point, we’re just going to keep promoting,” Kistka said.

Students who are unable to attend that night are encouraged to turn over a few addresses to the committee either by dropping them off at the registration locations or by emailing them in to [email protected], Johnson added.

Johnson declined to give an exact amount for how much they hope to earn this year. Instead she hopes to increase the number of dancers in attendance and the amount of money raised in general.

Since the event won the “Best New Marathon” award in 2006, it’s first year, and doubled its earnings in 2007, Johnson and Kistka have high hopes for its future.

“Our big goal is to increase participation from Notre Dame and Holy Cross,” Johnson said.

This year’s event will seea few changes, Johnson saidd. Instead of the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. hours that have been held for the past two events, the time has been changed to 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. in the hopes of including families with small children, she said. The committee hopes that by making the event later in the morning, these families will be able to stop by earlier, she said.

The Dance Marathon will also have the usual bands, music, food, and games.