Dance Marathon: Student fundraiser tops $4,000


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Nicole Brokloff has waltzed to the top of the fundraising list for Dance Marathon — and by a long shot.

The latest official tally puts her total at $3,805.99, according to the Dance Marathon staff. Brokloff said Monday evening that she had received another donation that will push her over the $4,000 threshold.

The next highest fundraisers are more than $1,000 shy of her total.

“I knew I wanted to raise a lot of money this year, so I kind of came up with a plan,” she said.

Along with canning and letter writing, Brokloff hosted a garage sale at her home in Davenport, which raised more than $1,000 from selling such items as clothing, toys, and CDs, along with donations.

She also collected $400 through her online giving page — a fundraising tool that allows credit-card payments and has become more popular this year, said Sarah Bereiter, Dance Marathon’s media-relations chairwoman.

The integrative physiology major spent last summer volunteering at Camp Heart Connection, which includes families of children with cancer being treated at the UI Hospital and Clinics. Brokloff said working in the camp, which has been sponsored by Dance Marathon since 1999, made her Dance Marathon efforts more personal and more rewarding.

“I feel like you’re more connected to the families,” she said.

More than 70 percent of the camp’s volunteers are also Dance Marathon volunteers, said Tiffany Spinner, the director of donor relations for the Heart Connection Children’s Cancer Programs.

Dance Marathon donated $50,000 to the camp in 2009, said Emily Beckmann, the program’s director of marketing and communication.

The camp experience motivated her to almost double the $2,000 she raised last year, most of which she raised while canning — or asking for donations in neighborhoods, outside Kinnick Stadium on football game days, and downtown on weekends.

Brokloff, a UI junior and pre-med student, first heard about Dance Marathon during freshman Orientation, and she got involved almost immediately. In her first year, she sought donations mostly from friends and family to meet the minimum fundraising goal.

Now in her third year of volunteering, Brokloff’s experience raising money for the UI organization has paid off.

When she’s not seeking donations, she volunteers three hours of her time each week at the UIHC’s pediatric and surgical intensive care units.

Brokloff, a member of the Family Relations Committee, will spend this week working on family-related Dance Marathon activities. She encourages other student to join Dance Marathon, she said.

“All you need to do is sign up, and there are tons of people in the leadership who can help you” raise money, she said.

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