“To celebrate the fight, and make miracles happen.”
When I first heard about Dance Marathon, I really didn’t understand the whole concept. I had been a part of other volunteer organizations, Nebraska Special Olympics, to be specific. I had experience raising thousands of dollars for something I truly cared about, but why would I dance for 12 hours when I could simply donate money to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? I would soon find out why, when I participated in University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Dance Marathon 2013.
I came prepared. I came excited. I came nervous. With my “Too Legit to Sit” t-shirt on and tennies tied tight, me and my dancing buddies were ready to conquer the 12 hours of dancing and activities.
I was new to the whole scene, not really knowing what to expect. With DM being prevalent in the Greek community, I had been persuaded by older friends to participate. When the Main Event started, excitement and adrenaline was in the air. As an added surprise, I had no idea the actual Miracle Children and their families would be there. The Miracle Children were given high-fives, hugs and smiles as they made their way to the stage through the parted sea of college students.
Throughout the night, some of the Miracle Children and their families went on stage and told their stories. Some were inspiring and funny, while some had the whole room in tears. It was such a unique experience, being able to directly see and hear the impact we were having on these children’s lives.
As the number of dancers started dwindling throughout the night and early into the morning, my friend and I were determined to stay until 7 AM and complete the whole 12 hours of dancing. During the last hour, I participated in a ceremony. A ceremony where everyone gathered into a giant circle – “The Circle of Hope.” The Miracle Children came out and cut-off our hospital bracelets which were given at the beginning of the night. The bracelet represented the burden that each and every one of our Miracle Children lives with on a day-to-day basis. I remember looking into the eyes of the little girl who cut my bracelet with her mom’s help, and it was during this moment, that I realized that this, this is why I danced.
Dance Marathon is more than raising money for a cause. It’s the power of one community’s effort to dance until every child is healthy and has the best treatment and facilities possible. We dance so no child has to ever dance alone. We dance for the kids.
On February 21, 2015 I will participate in my third Dance Marathon. This is the second year I am involved as a Morale Captain – we, as Morale Captains, keep the energy high and everyone pumped up with our awesome dance moves! If you wish to contribute to my fundraiser, all the proceeds this year will be going to The Rainbow House – which provides accommodations for families and patients undergoing acute, long-term treatment at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. Click here to donate!
“Our local Miracle Hospital is in Omaha, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. We have raised over $250,000 for the kids thus far, and are ready to give them some more!”
“Dance Marathon is a nationwide movement involving college and high school students at more than 150 schools across the country, all raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in their community. These students spend a year learning invaluable leadership and life skills while raising funds and interacting with children’s hospital patients and families. The year culminates with a 12-40 hour long event where the students stay on their feet through dancing, games and entertainment in celebration of the total amount raised that year.”