March 10, 2022 | Kayliani Powlison

It’s that time of year when the student-led movement Dance Marathon hosts its annual fundraising and connection event at Calvin.

Dance Marathon connects student communities

Dance Marathon unites students from more than 400 colleges, universities, and high schools across the United States and Canada. These students raise funds year-round to support local children’s hospitals. While raising money is important for Dance Marathon, the movement’s higher purpose is to spread awareness about children’s health and to improve their hospitals.

Kylie Smits, vice president of Dance Marathon at Calvin, clarified the organization’s purpose for students who may feel hesitant to participate in their event. “When people hear about Dance Marathon, they think, ‘oh, I don't want to dance for that long’ or ‘I'm not good at dancing.’ But they don't really fully understand that it's a fundraiser where the goal is to dance for the kids who can't.”

Since 1991, Dance Marathon programs have raised more than $300 million in their sponsorship with Miracle Network. Calvin is honored to be participating in this effort.

About the event

“It is a fundraiser, but it’s also a FUNdraiser,” said Nathan Anderson, president of Dance Marathon at Calvin. “It’s meant to be a fun event where people can raise money for the Children’s Hospital and hang out with friends.”

Dance Marathon student leadership is hoping to see a great turnout on their event day, Saturday, March 12 at 6 p.m Students can register online and talk with leadership over email or socials to learn more about the organization and the event. Students can also opt to donate to a fundraising dancer. The event is taking place at the Hoogenboom Health & Recreation Center on Calvin's campus.

This year, the registration fee is waived, but donations are encouraged. Any student can join to support this great cause. The first 90 people to sign up will receive a free t-shirt!

A great volunteer opportunity

According to Anderson, many members of the organization have career aspirations in the medical industry. Participating in Dance Marathon allows students to be a part of a great cause and get experience helping improve and develop hospitals.

“You can help make a difference in a child's life now,” Anderson said. “It doesn’t have to be when you’re a doctor in your own hospital at your own private care center … we can help now.”

Membership is usually quite diverse. There are students studying medical sciences, but there are also students with medical history or experience in the healthcare system who would like to contribute to the cause. All donations through Calvin are local, to help support the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“You can't have a more enjoyable experience making a difference in a child's life than with Dance Marathon,” Anderson explained. “We encourage people to engage with our brothers and sisters at the hospitals who are going through the trenches and aren't sure whether they’ll make it 'til tomorrow … You can make a difference today. You don’t have to wait to be a doctor.”

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