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Dance Marathon: Creative fundraising

BY MORGAN OLSEN | FEBRUARY 03, 2010 7:30 AM

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For most college students, it’s hard enough to keep $400 in the bank account.

But each year, UI Dance Marathon dancers raise at least that much to participate in the event by e-mailing, canning, and writing letters. This year, some dancers found even more creative ways to make the quota.

UI freshmen Megan Hoffman and Mary Grier decided to spice up canning on a cold December night. The duo made a sign that said “kissing booth” and held it up for pedestrians to see.

“We wanted to call more attention to ourselves,” Hoffman said. “We really didn’t give out too many kisses, but we ended up making more money.”

The women finished the night with $104, more than they would have made on an average night, Hoffman said.

Hoffman raised the rest of her money through neighborhood canning in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids and through family donations.

UI senior Larry Hau gave to another good cause to raise his money.

“A friend told me about how she donates plasma for money, and I started doing the math in my head,” he said. “I had trouble getting the last of my money and figured this would be a good way.”

Hau raised the bulk of his money by asking friends and family for donations. He also participated in Dance Marathon the Marathon — in which dancers run the Chicago Marathon — which he said encouraged family and friends to make further donations.

Although he will only donate plasma twice before the event, Hau will continue giving after the weekend and donating his earnings to Dance Marathon— around $70 per week.

UI senior and morale captain Jon Kline said he motivates his dancers to raise money by e-mailing reminders and encouraging them to write letters, go canning, and try programs offered through Dance Marathon.

Hometown Heroes is a new program that reaches outside of Iowa City to dancers’ hometowns.

Dancers can send in information about companies from their hometowns and request donations.

UI senior and sponsorship committee member Jill Mansheim said the panel received nearly 200 company requests.

“The program gave us a lot of new contact information for sponsors we were unaware of,” she said.

Dancers can also start their own Children’s Miracle Network page to collect money online. Kline said he believes this is one of the easiest ways for dancers to raise their money.

UI senior and morale captain assistant Emily Landan earned $775 through her online network.

“I sent out e-mails to my parents, and they sent e-mails to all of their friends,” Landon said. “The week before I ran the marathon for Dance Marathon, I had made $500.”


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