Dance Marathon raises more than $10,000

by Madi Wilson, Features/Perspectives Editor

Simpson College students raised $10,771 Saturday in their first-ever Dance Marathon, more than double their original goal of $5,000.

The money goes toward Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals, medical research and community awareness of children’s health issues.

About 150 people attended the 12-hour event. The organization received a great amount of support from families and friends, including sponsorship from 10 Dance Marathon families.

{{tncms-asset app=”editorial” id=”bf2b91b0-fc58-11e5-aee0-d3673135e5fb”}}

Bailey Wilmes, president of Simpson College Dance Marathon, said she is thrilled with the success of the event.

“There were so many people who came up to me afterward and gave me hugs and congratulated me on the event and how amazing it was, which made me feel really good because we all worked so hard for it and loved the way it turned out,” Wilmes said.

{{tncms-asset app=”editorial” id=”b49de19e-fc58-11e5-a2fd-e37bd32542a8″}}

Her hope is that more people join the organization and participate in the Dance Marathon event next year.

“Our goal is set at $20,000, and I have no doubt that we can get to that,” Wilmes said.

Several Simpson students participated in the event, including senior Molly McCreary, who isn’t a member of Dance Marathon but chose to participate simply for the cause.

“It is so much more than having a day-long dance party,” McCreary said. “It is choosing to stand for hours to support the families who stand for hours as they are taking care of their sick children. It is dancing for the children who can’t.”

Her favorite part of the event was listening to the families share their stories.

“They are all such wonderful people, and the stories of their miracle children are absolutely amazing,” McCreary said. “It really puts into perspective why we stood for 12 hours and danced until we were exhausted. These families are so inspiring.”

Dancing isn’t the only activity that students participated in.

Aside from having bowling, a photo booth and bags, people had the opportunity to cut and donate their hair during the event.

Junior Haley Blum, executive member of Dance Marathon, is one of few Simpson students who made the decision to get a haircut and help someone in need.

“To actually cut my hair this weekend took a lot of convincing,” Blum said. “I donated my hair once about two years ago for a friend that passed away from cancer, and I planned to do that in the future. But after a lot of encouragement, I decided to do it and donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.”

Blum emphasized that Dance Marathon is the most fun activity she’s been a part of on campus.

“Because of all the money raised and dancing we did, I helped a kid in need, and that is more than enough to make my heart full,” Blum said.

The event made a difference in children’s lives, and Dance Marathon put their slogan, ”For the Kids,” into action.