ELLA KIRBY | NEWS EDITOR
On Saturday, Nov. 5, St. Norbert College celebrated its forth-annual Dance Marathon event with its end celebration of Miracle Day, attended by a little over 200 dancers this year. The event took place in the Campus Center from 9 a.m. to 10:06 p.m..
The first Dance Marathon event took place on Nov. 2, 2013, and it has been an annual event ever since. Fundraising is done throughout the year, and the Miracle Day event ends as a celebration to bring students and families together and reveal how much money has been raised for the local Children’s Miracle Network hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Wis.
St. Norbert College is one out of over 350 universities and colleges and 150 high schools around the United States and Canada that participate in Miracle Network Dance Marathon (MNDM). The movement was created as a non-profit organization in order to raise money and awareness for more than 170 Children’s Miracle Network pediatric hospitals throughout North America.
During the Miracle Day event, students get to interact with patient families from the local hospital they are sponsoring. Every MNDM is topped off by an eight to 40-hour event. SNC’s Miracle Day lasts for 13.1 hours, a reflection of a half-marathon that was felt to be fitting to the size of the campus.
Lydia Dorn ’17, Co-President of Dance Marathon, stated, “Dance Marathon is so much more than just an event. It is a movement. It is a year-long effort to raise money for kids. Much more than just the money, it is a movement to bring hope to kids and to show them and their families that they are not alone.”
Miracle Day was organized by different hourly themes in which students could enjoy various games and activities linked to that theme. Each hour also marked five minutes or more of a choreographed Morale Dance that was taught to all of the dancers. Those who participated experienced the stories shared by families with the Children’s Hospital of Wis.
In response to the question “What is your favorite thing about Dance Marathon?” Claire Appleton ’17, Miracle Day speaker and dancer, stated, “Hearing all the stories of all the different people, just to see everyone come together for such an amazing thing and to be raising money for those kids that need it is really cool.”
Aaron Van Eperen ’17, also a Co-President for Dance Marathon, responded with “Seeing everybody come together, supporting a common cause, dancing all day, doing crafts all day, just working together for the greater good.”
Since the first event in 2013, the total funds raised have continued to increase; this year was no exception. This year’s goal was $50,000: the event exceeded this number dramatically with a total of $56, 007.04 revaled on Saturday evening. The annual fundraising culminates to a grand total of $152,504.10 that has been raised for the Children’s Hospital of Wis. and used to purchase a wide variety of equipment to advance the hospital.
“In the past three years, that money has gone to purchase a new EKG machine, renovate the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and purchase beds for the tiniest of babies and fund a pair of imaging goggles that kiddos use to watch movies and TV during long MRI procedures,” Dorn stated.
Dorn continued, “Honestly, just seeing it all come together is my favorite thing. From the activities, to the family talks, to the total reveal at the end; just seeing all of our work over the past year culminate into one amazing day that not only inspires us but inspires our peers and campus is just so humbling.”