Emmanuel College is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through the Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program.
For nearly a decade, the Emmanuel College Dance Marathon (ECDM) has been recognized as one of the best college Dance Marathons in New England and across the country. Last year’s version of the event may very well represent the organization’s most impressive accomplishment to date.
Forced to cancel the traditional all-night event in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emmanuel students were far from deterred. Reimagining the event in a virtual format, the group was still able to raise more than $56,000 on behalf of the Children’s Miracle Network and Boston Children’s Hospital. For their tireless efforts, they were recently honored by the Children’s Miracle Network with the 2020 CMN Best Moves Award and Pivots Award.
“Reorganizing an event that is all in person was definitely a challenge, said Branding Director Alexis Scrima ’21. “We had to switch all of our fundraising methods and had to pivot to a different outcome for the end of ECDM20. It was an amazing experience nevertheless, and it really brought people together even as we were all sent home. We were still able to finish the year strong in the end—as best as we could for the kids and families at Boston Children’s.”
The Miracle Network Dance Marathon is a national movement benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. It is a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for more than 170 pediatric hospitals across North America. Since inception, Miracle Network Dance Marathon has raised more than $300 million for kids across North America through over 250 colleges and high schools—ensuring that no child or family fights pediatric illness or injury alone.
Since Emmanuel College began its Dance Marathon in 2012, it has raised more than $750,000 and has been recognized multiple times as one of the highest fundraising colleges in the area. In 2018 alone, it ranked as the #1 Dance Marathon fundraiser in Boston and top five in New England. Nationwide, it placed in the top 20 for schools with fewer than 12,000 undergraduate students.
“While [the students] weren't able to hold the event in person last year, they still actively fundraised online as well as shared their morale dance and the total reveal number through video that could be sent out to a wide campus. The students are resilient and know that anything can happen when planning a big event, so they were able to quickly pivot,” said ECDM Advisor Susan Aguiar. “The lessons from last Spring certainly helped in planning for this year. With more time to plan a virtual event, we have a great week of virtual events lined up that those both on and off campus can partake in. The Emmanuel College community is so service-driven, and ECDM really gives students the opportunity to serve not only in fundraising and event planning, but also in being able to share with the wider community the wonderful work being done at Boston Children’s Hospital.”
With this spring marking the 10th-straight year of ECDM, the organization’s goal is to remind everyone of the success of the past, as well as to encourage donors to continue to make miracles happen for the kids. While an in-person event is not possible again this year, Emmanuel students continue to explore new ways to bring this anticipated event to life.
“This year, we’ve spent a ton of time researching how Dance Marathon programs across the country have successfully hosted their events in a virtual setting,” said Events Director Emily Geary ’21. “Taking advice from these programs, as well as from the Office of Student Affairs, the Events team has been working to create ECDM’s first-ever weeklong virtual event. We’re all working to keep spirits high this year by remembering who we do this for, the kids and families of Boston Children’s.”
To learn more about ECDM and this year’s weeklong virtual event as well as to donate to the cause, visit their website by March 27, 2021!