Courtesy of Hamline University Dance Marathon
Hamline University Dance Marathon (HUDM) in conjunction with the Heights Hall Council hosted a tie blanket-making event on Feb. 8 where students created blankets to be donated to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. This event was one of several put on throughout the school year by HUDM to promote their big event.
“The big event… is going to be five hours of dancing, performances, free food, card making, fun and fundraising,” vice president of HUDM and sophomore Amanda Danielson said.
These smaller events have been hosted to get the word out and continuously fundraise for Gillette Children’s Speciality Healthcare in Saint Paul, with all of it leading up to the actual Dance Marathon.
Colleges across the country participate in dance marathons to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals), to which Gillette belongs.
As stated on their website, “Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare cares for patients who have some of the most complex, rare and traumatic conditions in pediatric medicine, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, spina bifida and hydrocephalus.”
All of the fundraising done by HUDM directly benefits Gillette children facing differing conditions. It also supports innovative technology and research done at the hospital.
“Dance Marathon is… such a good cause. It is a national thing… but benefits local,” Danielson said. “Gillette is the only CMN hospital in Minnesota, so all the kids that need the services from Gillette will travel here… including parts of Iowa and surrounding areas.”
The year-long fundraising efforts are leading up to one final big group event where participants are challenged to dance for five hours while also enjoying food donated locally, performances and various other activities.
“[O]ur big event of the year… celebrates the fundraising that has been done and encourages people to also keep fundraising,” event operations director of HUDM and Oracle staff member sophomore Heather Mostoller said. “[F]amilies from the hospital will come and speak about their experiences.”
With 50 participants already registered and having just reached $3,000 in fundraising, HUDM has surpassed the amount raised last year. This year, the goal is to reach $5,000. Anyone interested in participating is highly encouraged to sign up, regardless of dance experience.
“There is a big slogan in the dance community that bad dancing saves lives,” Danielson said.
Those interested can sign up by going to tinyurl.com/HUDM2019 and paying the $10.00 registration fee, or by signing up at the event.
“The $10.00 registrations fee… is a direct donation to the hospital, so really you’re getting everything for free but… the $10.00 is to help a lot of families,” president of HUDM and sophomore Alexandra Pick said.
If there is a financial barrier, HUDM is able to waive the fee so all can participate.
“We want everyone to be included,” hospital relations director and sophomore Chloe Myhre said. “To celebrate all the work we… and everyone else has done.”
The HUDM board has been planning this event since the summer and has a lot of enthusiasm and passion for their cause.
“I am excited to have the kids there and be able to hear all their stories… It just really [shows] how much we are doing for them,” Treasurer and senior Brookelyn Troumbly said. “It is for them, so they can have a good time.”
The Dance Marathon will take place Feb. 22 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. in Anderson 111/112. HUDM encourages anyone with any questions or concerns to contact them over direct message on their social media accounts or to email email@example.com.
“Hamline does not have a lot of organizations that [give] back in the way that we are doing it,” Pick said. “It is a cause that allows students to come together and show their support and show that even though we are in college, even though we are all broke, we can still come together to do all the good.”