Why do Hope students dance for the kids?


DANCE FOR SOMETHING BIGGER — Sigma Sigma sorority smiles with their miracle child, Jillian and her mother, Carrie Dattels. Jillian suffers from a specific group of rare diseases that deal with a particular mutation, but she is strong and joyful. She is one of the reminders why the students dance. (Bailey Berberic)

(Photos by Kelly Ocock)

Hope College’s Dance Marathon was a success, reaching $13,000 over the initial goal.

Thank you to all the dancers, moralers, supporters and local businesses who played a role in this year’s 24-hour marathon. This year, Hope raised a record-shattering $275,574.18 for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
The children’s hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, provides exceptional and lifesaving medical care to infants, children and adolescents. By supporting the hospital through fundraisers and awareness-building events throughout the year, Hope helps it provide crucial programs and services that directly impact the children and families it serves.

The first annual Dance Marathon at Hope took place back in 2000. As a result of hard work and dedication, the marathon brought in over $23,000, which was much higher than their goal that year, in donations for the children.

In the past 18 years, Dance Marathon has raised over $2 million for the kids. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in Western Michigan dedicated to providing comprehensive care to children.
As the years have gone by, the program has evolved to include numerous fundraising and awareness-building activities for the fundraiser. Such as the annual 5k for Kids, Miracle Silent Auction and a Christmas holiday party for Miracle Families.

Student’s participation in the event has grown over the years as more and more students dedicate themselves and their hearts to the cause. Currently, more than 950 Hope students contribute to Dance Marathon as members of planning committees or as dancers and moralers.
“Dance Marathon has been one of the most unexpected joys of my college career. Among everything that I have had the pleasure of doing during my time at Hope, it has by far been the most impactful and perspective-shifting,” Connor Gentry (’18) said.

What Hope does for Helen DeVos impacts students’ lives and their college experience as they make a huge difference in the smallest ways. Seeing the kids play and dance at the marathon is a beautiful reminder of that.
Students and supporters are excited for next year’s Dance Marathon.

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