Hope College’s Dance Marathon event is a year- long fundraiser for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital that rounds off with a 24-hour dance- a-thon from March 9 to 10. Hope’s students, faculty and community comes together to dance, play games and meet the families of survivors.
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, provides exceptional and lifesaving medical care to infants, children and adolescents. Children’s Miracle Network is an international non- profit organization dedicated to helping children, by raising funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals throughout North America. Each year, these non-profit hospitals treat 17 million children with diseases, injuries and birth defects of every kind. Children’s Miracle Network hospitals treat all children regardless of affliction or the family’s ability to pay.
By supporting the hospital through fundraisers and awareness-building events throughout the year, we help it provide crucial programs and services that directly impact the children and families it serves. Over the past 19 years, Hope’s Dance Marathon has raised over two million for the kids.
To get involved in the event, students can sign up as a dancer or a moraler. Dancers stay on their feet for the entire 24 hours. The marathon would not be possible without the hundreds of students who come out to dance each year. You can dance on behalf of a student organization, fraternity or sorority, residence hall or on your own. If 24 hours seems too overwhelming, moraler shifts are just 8 hours. Moralers keep the dancers excited and entertained from start to finish. They are charged with the crucial task of boosting dancer morale and keeping energy high.
These next two weeks before the marathon are referred to as Miracle Week and Blitz Week. These two weeks offer special events and fundraising opportunities for students to take part in. Hope has partnered with Orange Leaf to sponsor Dance Marathon teams: with each cup of froyo, a percentage will go to kids. Students can get a delicious snack while helping an amazing cause.
On March 8, take a break from Phelps Dining Hall and stop by Maas Auditorium for a pasta dinner hosted by the Dance Marathon Catering Committee. The dinner will be $5 per person, and all proceeds will be put towards a large donation for the kids. Dinner will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Come ready to eat!
Keep an eye out for more events and lectures pertaining to Dance Marathon. Here are examples of what student participation can do: $10 provides a gas card for families to travel across the state or country to treat their child, $25 provides craft supplies to distract a child undergoing scary and painful treatments, $50 pays for a night’s stay for distant families staying at the Hospital’s Renucci House, $200 pays for a child’s cast for a broken arm and $500 buys a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff to make sure the kids are staying healthy. Dance Marathon is a great time to give back and help families and children who need the support this event can give them.
If you are looking for more ways to get involved or are interested in doing more next year, check out the Dance Marathon page at hope.edu. There are positions in various commitees including finance, family relations, morale squad, mini-marathon, hospital relations and more. Any more questions can be sent to the DM directors at dancemarathon@ hope.edu.