Students prepare to dance the night away as Bradley’s all-school philanthropy approaches.
Dance Marathon is Nov. 7 to 8 in the new Markin Family Student Recreation Center.
All money raised at Bradley’s Marathon goes directly to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, Dance Marathon President Sara Bernardi said.
“Yes, 24 hours on your feet is tiring and painful, but it’s all for the kids,” she said. “They go through this pain and suffering every day. The mission of Dance Marathon is that we vow to dance until every child has the resources to make their life happier and healthier.”
Bradley’s Marathon started in 2001. Dance Marathons across the country raise more than $5 million annually.
Vice President of Coordination Nathan Monney said the change of venue is ideal for the number of people the marathon attracts.
“This marathon will be a slightly different experience for both the families and the dancers this year, as we have been granted the opportunity to have the event in the newly constructed Markin Center,” he said.
Many more events will be offered this year because Markin has more amenities, Dance Marathon Director of Entertainment Katy Smithy said.
“This marathon has about five times more activities and entertainment than last year,” she said. “It is packed with fun. There will be everything from free manicures and pedicures for dancers to water polo to watching the movie ‘Pineapple Express.’ The exec. board has been hard at work to make this the best marathon yet.”
The marathon is an exhausting event that raises money for a great cause, Smithy said.
“My personal goal is $500,” she said. “Raising money is so easy. It is crazy to think you can’t raise $120 and help save a life.”
The Children’s Hospital uses the money donated through Dance Marathon to purchase equipment and supplies to make children’s stays at the hospital more comfortable, Monney said.
Bernardi said she hopes to get as many people as possible to participate in the marathon.
“Our goal for Dance Marathon is to raise as much money as possible to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, have 150 student organizations participate, at least 200 dancers, 15 miracle families and over 100 volunteers,” she said. “[Dance Marathon] is a 24-hour emotional roller coaster. Everyone I know that has participated in a Dance Marathon has been emotionally touched and will never forget the experience.”
Monney said he agreed it’s a life-changing experience.
“You will laugh, you will cry, you will make friends and you will have the time of your life, all while saving a life,” he said. “As we on the exec. board like to say, ‘Fifty years from now it will not matter what kind of car you drove, what kind of house you lived in, how much you had in your bank account or what your clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better place because you were important in the life of a child.’ “