January 11, 2013

Emmanuel Dance Marathon Pursues Loftier Goal

There is only one thing last year's top-grossing Greater Boston Dance Marathon team has on its mind for this year's fundraising event: Raising even more money for Boston Children's Hospital.

In their inaugural year participating in the national charity fundraiser for hospitals within the Children's Miracle Network, Emmanuel students raised nearly $18,500, earning them the Miracle Cup as the area's top Dance Marathon donor among five other area colleges and universities. The amount raised also warranted the group the prestigious honor of getting its name engraved on the wall at Children's this April.

Last year's success has further fueled students' interest, as nearly 176 students have already expressed interest in the fundraiser - up from 110 last year - and the group has agreed to chase an even loftier goal of $20,000.

"It is a lot to raise, but we're already at 20 percent of our goal and we still have four months left," said Director of Student Center Services/Assistant Director of Student Activities Kevin Farrell, who serves as the advisor for Emmanuel's Dance Marathon. "We're receiving great support from Children's as they know we're serious about it. It's good to know this is something the students and Emmanuel want to continue."

Emmanuel is one of six Boston-area schools participating in Dance Marathon, a nationwide movement that raises money for hospitals within the Children's Miracle Network. The program is entirely student run and commits 100% of donations to helping local children's hospitals. The program culminates in a 13 hour-long dance marathon in the spring to celebrate the group's accomplishments in which participants "dance for those who can't."

What may be most impressive about this year's group is that it features a brand-new crop of students at the helm.

"We have a lot of new ideas coming in from this group," said Farrell. "But it says a lot about what we did last year to have 14 new members on the executive board."

To participate in the culminating dance in the Jean Yawkey Center gymnasium on April 13th, students can choose to participate in the challenge on an individual or team basis. Individual participants are each required to raise $100 while teams, which can consist of upwards of eight people, are asked to raise $400.

Some students, such as Juan Levy '14, are participating in this year's Dance Marathon even though they won't be in attendance for the main event. Levy is spending the spring semester studying abroad in Berlin, Germany, but wanted to continue to support the great cause. He is captaining a team made up of fellow Emmanuel students studying abroad this semester.

"We may not be on campus for the events, but we can still help out these kids and raise as much money as we can," he said. "It's a great cause. I hope [Dance Marathon] becomes an Emmanuel tradition."

 It is the commitment from students such as Levy that continues to impress Farrell.

"It is a testament to the type of student we have here, that they still care about Emmanuel and what is happening on campus while abroad," he said. "They get the big picture. It is not just about attending the event, it is about the cause."

To donate to Emmanuel's Dance Marathon, click here.

Also, be sure to follow Emmanuel College Dance Marathon on Facebook and Twitter!