You should be DANCIN’ FTK (For The Kids)!

Have you ever heard of Dance Marathon? If not, now is your chance to get involved by registering for the event and helping to change the lives of children in need at Dayton Children’s Hospital, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital here in the city of Dayton.

Since 1991, more than 450 colleges and high schools have been working together to raise money for these hospitals and sponsor an event called Dance Marathon. What do they do? THEY DANCE (and more)! “Students stay on their feet through dancing, games, entertainment and interaction with children’s hospital patients and families in symbolic support of children served by their local CMN Hospital.” Interestingly, more students participate in Miracle Network Dance Marathon than any other student-led philanthropy in the United States. Collectively, these school have raised more than $106 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country.

UDMiracleRedTeam

Some of the red team’s dancers at 2015 DM in KU Ballroom.

We are #blessed to have an awesome UDMiracle team on this campus that is dedicated to supporting a Dance Marathon event for all of us to attend and dance our hearts out 13.1 hours all FOR THE KIDS this Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 11:06am-12:06am in KU Ballroom.

When she’s not making customers smile behind the counter at The Blend Express, beloved barista Marissa Napoli serves a humble role as President of UDMiracle.

Marissa began participating in Dance Marathon her freshman year after her friend asked if she wanted to join a team for the event. She said yes! “Little did I know that I would be embarrassing myself on the dance floor with my lame and outdated dance moves, lip singing to ‘Friday’ by Rebecca Black (a completely underrated song), and dancing with kids who had cancer” said Napoli. When asked about where her passion for DM comes from, she said, “All of the kids that I meet have faced more hardships in a day than I have in a lifetime. They are why I am so passionate about UD Miracle. I work alongside 14 UD students who have that same passion – we all motivate each other to become servant leaders and work towards a common goal of helping sick children. Not to mention we are a bunch of goofs, which makes planning events a lot more fun.”

Even if you have been to DM in previous years, the prez promises this year’s event to be different. “We have over 10 children from Dayton Children’s Hospital confirmed to speak at Dance Marathon and dance with us, over 10 sources of entertainment throughout the event, a lot of good food, good music, and crazy dance moves.

Marissa said UDMiracle has also been in the process of re-branding, which has given them the opportunity to really think about who they are as an organization, and where they want to be. “Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals issued a nation-wide re-brand for Dance Marathons over the summer, and now the logo that we wear is the same logo (in different colors) as over 300 college DMs across the nation. It has been a cool experience, seeing everyone come together,” stated Marissa.

The fundraising goal for this year? $38,000. This number comes from a national move to increase fundraising goals by 20%. Marissa claimed, “We have a long way to go, but I have never seen a more hardworking group of people dedicated to a cause,” speaking about her congruent team.

And why should I (potential dancer) sign up for DM?
In response to this question, Marissa stated, “Honestly, it should be one of the first things on your bucket list, right next to completing the Milanos Challenge. It is the most fun I have had at UD. You will find yourself surrounded by awesome people pulling out their awesome (or lame, like me) dance moves, listening to kids who face more cancers and surgeries than I can count on one hand but still have the most positive of outlooks, receive free prizes, and meet new people. Yes, you will be exhausted. 13.1 hours on your feet? But here is a reminder of who you would be tired for:

UDMiracleCarmine

You can meet the incredible Carmine at this year’s DM!

Pull out your phone, and place it in the palm of your hand. Carmine was smaller than that when he was born. He was not expected to live through any of his 15 heart surgeries that he had before he was two years old. But he will be at our Dance Marathon, dancing up a storm. He still has more energy than anyone I have ever met.

That is why you should sign up for Dance Marathon.

How much is it? Can I still sign up?
The cost is just $20, which covers all of your meals throughout the day and a t-shirt. You will also be contacted after registering with information on how to fundraise, and the more money you raise, the more prizes you get. Register at udmiracle.kintera.org

Watch this video made by the UD Miracle team to get PUMPED for this year’s event!

Marissa said that her experience at FE has given her confidence to be a leader. “I love working alongside people who will support me in all of my endeavors, and who care about my leadership development. FE has opened many doors for me, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities and the friendships that FE has provided.”

So what do you say? Let’s all ban together and stand up FOR THE KIDS!

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