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Dance Marathon raises $77,000

Monica Murphy | Monday, March 29, 2010

Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students gathered to “Dance for a Chance” at the fifth annual Dance Marathon at the College’s Angela Athletic Facility Friday and Saturday.

The event, which was hosted by the College with the help of Notre Dame’s Pre-Professional Society, raised $77,328 and will donate $72,000 to the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

“This year, we were focused on fundraising, making our presence known and trying to raise awareness,” said Dance Marathon president Kelly Deranek, a senior at Saint Mary’s.
Approximately 350 people attended this year’s event, which ran from 8 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Saturday.

The night included live performances by the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s Irish dance team and bands such as South Jordan. In addition, raffles, crafts and card games were among the many activities of the night.

Children from Riley attended the event, including Marty Manges, who said arm wrestling with a Notre Dame football player was one of the coolest things he had ever done. The Saint Mary’s College Morale Committee also came to teach volunteers how to dance.

Steve Bariteau, a representative of Riley Hospital for Children, was in attendance and shared his thoughts on the positive impact the College has made on the hospital. He said Saint Mary’s had raised over $245,000 for the hospital since the inception of the Dance Marathon.

“Because of you, we have been able to serve over 8,000 patients from South Bend, a young girl from California was able to be treated and 66 percent of pediatricians are becoming more educated,” Bariteau said. 

Guest speakers made appearances throughout the night, including Sheila Fraser, a current Marian High School student, who was diagnosed with cancer two years ago.

The doctors later determined Fraser suffered from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Fraser was named a Riley Champion from 2008-09.

Fraser shares her story through public speaking engagements at events such as Dance Marathon throughout the state to raise awareness for Riley. Fraser said she lives by one simple motto: “Never give up because there is so much hope.”

Fraser presented a check for $12,758.49 to the Saint Mary’s College Dance Marathon from her fundraising at Marian High School over the past two years.

Riley Hospital for Children is considered among the best children’s hospitals in the country because it strives for excellence in caring for young patients.

Five-year-old Abbie Gorski, who suffers from a heart defect, said Dance Marathon is the best part of her year.