All pictures belong to the official Dance Marathon Facebook page.
The first Dance Marathon charity event at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette took place virtually Sunday on the university’s social media platform because of COVID-19 concerns.
Dance Marathon’s mission was to raise money and awareness in support of the Children’s Miracle Network. Though the charity event was canceled physically, the organization did not let the country’s adversities stop their mission to “keep the party going” and raise money for sick children across America.
Theresa Goldkamp, president of Dance Marathon, said, “Everyone has fear and anxiety on their mind because of the corona virus, but this is what the miracle children go through every day. Everyone should put their fears aside and come together to help the children in need for a bigger purpose.”
The UL Lafayette Virtual Dance Marathon raised $12,556.61 to support Children’s Miracle Network.
Dance Marathon participants holding up the final total followed by “FTK” or “For The Kids”
Goldkamp said to make virtual Dance Marathon successful, members of the organization pre-recorded videos to be posted on their social media pages from 12-6 p.m. on March 15, 2020. The videos show the miracle children’s stories, why they dance, morale dances, gift card giveaways and the fundraiser reveal.
Donations were taken on their website and profits went toward the children’s hospitals in Lake Charles and Alexandria. The organization’s goal was for each participant to raise $62 by the end of the day, according to Goldkamp.
Local sponsors across Lafayette participated in the event by giving away gift cards to random participants who helped to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Some of the sponsors included Newk’s Eatery, CC’s Coffee House, Carpe Diem and Alesi Pizza.
Participants can be any local person, student, or member of Dance Marathon who helped fund the children’s hospitals. If the event were physical, the participants would have helped teams dance, but instead, participants shared the posted videos and donated.
Dance Marathon is the fastest growing charity in America, according to Goldkamp. About 350 schools have participated across the country and over $135 million were raised for the children organization wide.
Goldkamp said she started Dance Marathon at UL because she was passionate about helping and meeting the ill children. Her and her team are always thinking of fun and exciting ways of raising money throughout the year. Their most important tradition is to stand for the whole event for children who can’t stand on their own.
Greek sororities at UL such as Phi Mu, Dahlia Dolls, Ragin Cajun Catholics and Sigma Chi teamed together to save children’s lives. Throughout the year, the student led organization hosted events to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network that lead up to the six to 26-hour dance marathon at the end of the year.
Dance Marathon at UL hopes to have future events so that the legacy can live on, as members of the organization say, “for the kids.”
Dance Marathon is an organization that is widely known at many other Universities across the nation and UL joined the beneficial cause for the first time this year. The event celebrated miracle patients and families that have been treated by the Christus St. Francis Cabrini Children’s Hospital and Christus St. Patrick Children’s Hospital, according to their Facebook.
Children’s Miracle Network is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals, medical research, and community awareness of children’s health issues.
Dance Marathon started at Indiana University when a man named Ryan White died from HIV, according to Goldkamp. His family and friends raised money for him while he was ill and for others with the same illness. Multiple universities helped raise money and started dance marathons at their schools for the same purpose and soon spread all over the country.
Children from Children’s Miracle Network thank Dance Marathon participants and donors.