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Dance Marathon brings out the best in UI community

BY DI EDITORIAL BOARD | FEBRUARY 08, 2010 7:30 AM

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Thousands of students, families, community members, and others whose lives have been touched by cancer gathered in the IMU this past weekend for 24 hours to support those in the battle against the disease.

The event collected a record-breaking total — an impressive $1,058,658.16. Amid the worst economic crises this country has seen in years, fundraisers worked tirelessly to collect the amount they did. The UI has one of the smallest student bodies in the Big Ten, yet the Dance Marathon continues to raise an extraordinary amount for the Children’s Hospital. We should be proud of our disproportionate contribution.

But Dance Marathon isn’t just about the money.

It is about people gathering together, setting aside their own interests, and helping people who are in greater need. It is more than just the largest student-run philanthropy event. It is people helping people, the purest form of good one can demonstrate.

Dance Marathon is the UI community at its best — altruistic, compassionate, motivated.

Thirty-five participants cut off around 10 inches of their hair to donate to Locks of Love, a group that makes hairpieces for patients who have lost their natural hair during treatment.

A group of dancers traveled to the hospital during the festivities to visit patients who couldn’t leave the hospital. Live coverage of Dance Marathon was broadcast at the hospital for those unable to attend.

At the event, children got the chance to interact with the participants who donated their time and money to help the cause. This year was the first time the children were given the chance to learn a dance and perform on stage as part of the festivities.

The event is full of enthusiasm, and children who are suffering get the chance to raise their spirits with a night of music and dancing.

Dance Marathon brings the community together to help children and their families. Students work around the calendar recruiting dancers, raising money, and organizing for the annual festivities.

Schools in the area host mini Dance Marathons to help raise money.

The annual event counters the pall of cancer with hope, compassion, and ebullient dancing. And, millions of dollars raised aside, the marathon is a source of strength.

“You feel this world is crashing down on you and then Dance Marathon gives this bag of things to you,” Lynn O’Neill, the mother of a 5-year-old child fighting cancer, told The Daily Iowan. “They probably don’t even realize what that means.”

So to all those involved, thank you. Thank you to everyone who participated and volunteered.

Thank you to those who coordinated and worked tirelessly to put on the event. Thank you to anyone who donated any time or money at all.

It’s events such as these that make us truly proud to be a Hawkeye.


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