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Event to raise money for hospital

Meaghan Daly | Thursday, March 29, 2012

From noon to midnight Saturday, over 300 Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students will bust a move for Riley Hospital for Children at the Dance Marathon in the Angela Athletic Facility.

Dance Marathon executive member Maureen Parsons said she hopes the event will teach students about the work Riley Hospital does.

“I think the biggest challenge we face each year is trying to convey to students how awesome of an organization Riley Hospital truly is.” Parsons said.

According to the Riley Hospital website, the Indianapolis hospital is one of the nation’s premier children’s hospitals, and Dance Marathon president Rebecca Guerin said Riley does not turn patients away for financial reasons.

Parsons said between 15 and 20 families of children in the Riley Hospital will attend the event, and they will share their stories throughout the day.

“Until you hear a Riley child share his or her story, you really do not know the impact of participating in Dance Marathon,” Parsons said.  

Parson said the theme of this year’s Dance Marathon is “Animal Kingdom”. The event will feature games, crafts, performances, food and even live animals, she said.

The Dance Marathon will also cross over with Saint Mary’s Lil’ Sibs weekend, Parsons said. Lil’ Sibs participants will take part in the marathon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and a “Silly Safari” will take place during that time.

Amy Tiberi, executive member of the Dance Marathon, said the goal of this year’s event is to exceed the $63,000 raised last year by 20 percent.

Guerin said she expects this year’s event to be a success.

“As the year comes to an end, it has been so gratifying to see so many college-aged students want to be a part of something so selfless,” Guerin said. “I think that our Animal Kingdom-themed marathon [this] weekend is truly going to be our best marathon yet. From the exotic animals to the glow-stick rave hour, it’s going to be a blast!”

Tiberi said Riley Hospital is a cause close to her heart.

“I am so passionate about this cause because I know people who have personally been affected by Riley,” Tiberi said. “What keeps me so connected to Dance Marathon is the feeling that you get when you see how many people you are helping and how grateful they are for all of the hard work our college puts in for this cause.”

Saint Mary’s students can register for the Dance Marathon in the Student Center Atrium, and Notre Dame students can visit www.nd.edu/~medinfo. Day-of registration will begin Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in the Angela Athletic Facility.