Dance Marathon 2016
It's been a couple weeks since my last post and this one isn't hand picked from my jar, but I'm excited to share my experience from this weekend. Ball State had it's dance marathon for Riley Hospital for Children. As a committee member on Media Relations, I was there all day -- from 10:45 a.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday. Let's just say it was a very long day but so very rewarding.
For those of you who don't know, BSUDM is a philanthropy organization that raises money all year for the children at Riley Hospital, the only accredited children's hospital in Indiana. We help fund the Magic Castle Cart, which travels around the hospital giving gifts to children, and the Palliative Care Unit, which helps children who are fighting really hard battles or terminal diseases. Our biggest event is the marathon itself, which is a 12 hour event where participants are on their feet all night, standing for those who can't.
This was my first ever DM and I can honestly say it was such a humbling experience. Hearing all the Riley kid's stories and seeing the hope they still had really put my life into perspective. Most of those kids have been through things I will never experience, struggles they still have to live with. There was one Riley kid who shaved her head after reaching her goal of $1000 during the night, something I could never do in a million years. These kids never cease to amaze me with their strength and perseverance. I'm glad I randomly decided to join such a wonderful organization because these kids impacted me more than I ever expected.
Our grand total was $610,086.23. Our goal was $550,000. When you set a goal that high, you worry that you won't be able to reach it, but seeing the numbers go up one by one and seeing that final 6 at the end blew the room away. I don't think there was a single person in that room who wasn't cheering or in tears. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing all the hard work pay off in one moment. Every cent we raised is for the kids to one day end the need for dance marathons all together. Each goal we reach is just another step closer to finding more cures and helping more kids fight their battles. Until then, we'll be dancing away.
One day we will dance in celebration, until then we will dance for a cure.