Local businesses support Dance Marathon


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Lauren Collins may not dance at this year’s Dance Marathon “Big Event,” but she’ll still be there. At 3 a.m. Saturday, Collins and other Coldstone Creamery employees will set up a stand to serve ice cream to the thousands of people at the IMU.

Last year, the third time the store volunteered to help University of Iowa Dance Marathon, employees dished out approximately 1,600 servings of ice cream.

“It’s such a great organization, we really appreciate when they come in for fundraisers. This is our way to give back to the community for all the great things they’ve been doing,” said Collins, a 2010 UI graduate.

Coldstone isn’t the only one helping out. Dance Marathon officials said support from local businesses has been increasing over the last few years. In the past week, several local restaurants and stores have raised thousands of dollars for this year’s “Big Event.”

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“When restaurants hold events like this, it helps raise awareness around the community, and it gets more people involved who normally wouldn’t so they can support the cause,” said Laura Donaldson, the head of Dance Marathon community-relations, sitting at a table in Z’Mariks, which had agreed to donate 10 percent of Wednesday’s profits.

Since 2007, Z’Mariks, 19 S. Dubuque St., has held fundraisers for Dance Marathon twice a year. It donates 10 percent of its daily proceeds, and it donated more than $500 after its October 2010 event.

“We do this because we know what Dance Marathon means to the UI community, not only because of the Big Event it has, but also because of the expenses that it covers for patients who are in need,” said Eric Beck,the Z’Mariks general manager.

On Sunday, Coralville’s HuHot, 917 25th St., held its Helping Hands Community Night.

Six volunteers from Dance Marathon went to the restaurant to help the cooks, work the host stand, and walk around with the servers to explain Dance Marathon’s event to customers. At the end of the night, the restaurant donated 10 percent of the profits from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to Dance Marathon.

Wild Bill’s Coffee Shop, in North Hall, held a community day on Jan. 27 to donate proceeds to the organization as well. Mia Za’s, 122 E. Washington St., and Which Wich, 23 S. Dubuque St., have community days scheduled for the spring.

Though Dance Marathon officials weren’t able to supply an exact number of sponsors Wednesday, they said brand-new events have proved to be successful.

For the first time, M.C. Ginsberg, 110 E. Washington St., held an auction benefiting the organization on Jan. 29.

The event raised more than $5,000 by auctioning off high-end jewelry and artifacts from Kinnick Stadium, such as old stadium seats, to members of the community. Former Hawkeye football player and current San Diego Charger kicker Nate Kaeding came to the event as a guest speaker to share his support for Dance Marathon.

The level of community support sets the UI Dance Marathon apart from other schools’, said UI Dance Marathon Executive Director Kyle-Dale Walters.

“This is definitely an event that we want to continue to have in the future,” he said.

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