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Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon hosts Halloween Party for Riley Children’s Hospital

| Monday, October 29, 2018

Saint Mary’s College Dance Marathon (SMC-DM) kicked off Halloween festivities Sunday by hosting a party for families of children being treated at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

SMC-DM hosts an annual 12-hour event every year known as “Dance Marathon,” which is held to raise funds for Riley Children’s Hospital. Students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to stand on their feet for 12 hours in honor of the kids at Riley Hospital. The day features entertainment, food, dancing and performances.

The next annual Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon will take place March 30 at the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex, according to the event websiteThroughout the year, SMC-DM hosts many fundraising events in anticipation of the day, including a 5K, Riley Week and the Halloween Party.

An event several weeks in the making, the Halloween Party had Twister, “Mummy wrap” races and pumpkin painting. The Riley Family Outreach Committee took responsibility for reaching out to Riley families, setting up and planning out the day’s activities.

“It is a great opportunity to meet the kids that we are fundraising for at Riley, and have fun doing it,” senior Madeleine Corcoran, executive for the Riley Family Outreach Committee, said.

Families, kids and Dance Marathon members spent a few hours sharing in community and fellowship while raising money for the hospital. SMC-DM raised $125,425.48 for Riley Children’s Hospital this year, according to SMC-DM’s website. Since its creation, SMC-DM has raised $1,110,708.44, the website said.

“I love the Riley families, it is always great to connect with them and see them,” Corcoran said.

The event had a high turnout rate from both students and families, Corcoran said, a success she attributes to its location on Saint Mary’s campus.

“Last year we held the party at the zoo, but moved back on campus this year,” she said.

First-year Maddie Eckrich said she decided to join Dance Marathon and help with the Halloween Party because of her personal connections to Riley Children’s Hospital.

“The best part of my day was getting to meet the kids and learn their stories and, most importantly, help kids feel like kids again,” Eckrich said. “There is nothing better than seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces.”

Amy Newcomb, a mother of a Riley patient, shared how much the event resonated with her and her family.

“It means a lot to see a network of individuals come together to honor kids that have been through so much and supporting a good cause,” Newcomb said. “It is moving to see how many people are here to support Riley Children’s Hospital, in an effort to keep research and funding alive to help the kid.”

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