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Club celebrates lives of Riley kids

Sarah Swiderski | Wednesday, November 28, 2012


On Friday night, it is everyone’s birthday at a special dinner hosted by Saint Mary’s College Dance Marathon in honor of the children and families of Riley Hospital for Children.

The Dance Marathon raises funds throughout the year to help the hospital in efforts to save the lives of children. The fundraising will culminate with the Dance Marathon on March 23, 2013.

“[The dinner] is birthday themed to celebrate the lives of the Riley children, so there will be birthday cake and fun decorations,” senior Sarah Feeley, chair of community outreach for Dance Marathon, said.

The dinner will occur during the 4:30 to 7 p.m. dinner hours at the College’s dining hall, allowing students to interact with Riley families.

“We really encourage as many students as possible to come meet the families and get to know the people that this cause is all about,” Feeley said.

The dinner is also aimed as a way to raise awareness on campus for Dance Marathon’s mission on campus as well as a way to raise money, Feeley said.

Feeley and other committee members have been hard at work for two months planning the event. The event will even feature a special menu for the children attending the dinner.

“This Riley Dinner is important because while raising money for Riley Hospital for Children is the primary goal of Dance Marathon, it is also important for us to meet the families that Riley has served,” Feeley said. “All of us who are so passionate about this cause love any opportunity we get to meet the kids who inspire us each and every day.

“We feel that any student who will join us for the dinner will realize how meaningful Riley is to all of these families, and will hopefully join us in raising money for this unbelievable hospital.”

Feeley said she and the other members of Dance Marathon have witnessed the work of Riley and are excited to share that experience through the Riley Family Dinner.

“I have seen the amazing impact this hospital has had on so many lives,” Feeley said. “A few of the other executives and I recently went to the annual Riley Hospital Luncheon in Indianapolis, and were able to hear stories from patients, families, and doctors about how Riley has changed their lives for the better.”

Senior Liz Kraig, the corporate sponsors executive chair for Dance Marathon, said she encourages students to take the opportunity to participate in the event.

“The dinner is an opportunity for every Saint Mary’s woman to create a relationship with our Riley families,” Kraig said. “I always enjoy listening to the stories the parents and children of Riley share.”

Students can also continue to contribute to Dance Marathon by registering as a dancer for the final event in March.

“We will have several opportunities for students to register as we approach the Marathon, and we really encourage students to do so as soon as possible,” Feeley said. “There is no better feeling than being at the Marathon and seeing how all of us can come together to give to a hospital that has helped so many deserving families over the years.”