Dance Marathon fundraises over $3,900 for children’s hospital


Jackie Galli

Whitney McBay (right), former Dance Marathon president, sits beside her sorority sister and Delta Gamma president, Margaret Whitten (left), at Loyola’s Dance Marathon on Saturday, April 2 in the Orleans Room of the Danna Center. Delta Gamma is one of the biggest fundrasiers for Dance Marathon, an event meant to benefit New Orleans Children’s Hospital.

Jackie Galli, Sports Editor

Freshman Emily Chapin, along with her Dance Marathon co-president, Sydney Randall, took on running the event this year despite never even having been to a Dance Marathon before.

The event on April 2 was a six hour long raise-a-thon at Loyola meant to fundraise for the New Orleans Children’s Hospital, a part of the Children’s Miracle Network. Chapin said she was proud of how the event went, including being just over $300 shy of their $4,000 goal with two hours to go.

Daniel Harris, the event organizer and assistant director of student life, said that the total funds raised became more than $3,900 by the end of the weekend. The marathon featured food cooked by Harris, as well as a jazzercise class, merchandise tables and music pumping all day. While the event was free to attend, those who registered got a free t-shirt, Chapin said.

“I was really impressed by what Dance Marathon has done in other schools,” said Chapin at the event over the booming sound of “Work” by Rihanna in the background. “I didn’t know a lot about it at Loyola, but after talking with Daniel Harris I fell in love with the idea and asked to be a part of the leadership.”

Chapin is a mathematics major on the pre-med track. Being a part of Dance Marathon was a great way for her to start getting involved in a medicine-related organization on-campus, she said.

Most of the event’s donations came from Loyola students and alumni, she said. For many of those who donated, or were involved in the event, the cause hit close to home.

That is the case for neuroscience freshman Devaney Scott, who was a general member of Dance Marathon.

“I’ve always been in and out of the children’s hospital due to prior health issues, so it feels good to bring money back to them and help other kids in need,” Scott said.

Criminology Senior Whitney McBay attended the event along with many of her sisters in the Delta Gamma sorority. McBay has been a part of Dance Marathon since her freshman year and served as the event’s president for two of them.

“I have a friend whose 95% of her care came from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and that is why she is still here today,” McBay said. “I have really done Dance Marathon for her.”

This year, Dance Marathon was held during the day from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., which McBay said most likely helped participation.

“I think that a lot of people like to go out at night, so doing it during the day lets people come in and not have to choose one or the other,” she said.

Teair Douglas was tabling at the event for Be The Match, a national marrow donor program. Douglas said that while attendance to Loyola’s Dance Marathon was smaller than most other school’s from what she has seen and heard, every student that attended did approach her to get onto the register. Douglas is the recruitment coordinator for Be The Match, which means a lot of traveling to college campuses since donors have to be between the ages of 18 to 35, and college students are within that sweet spot, Douglas said.

Be The Match works hand-in-hand with Children’s Miracle Network, as 20% of their patients are children, who have the highest success rate when it comes to blood donation, Douglas said.

The process is simple for getting onto the registry, Douglas said. Once signing up on their website, Be The Match mails a kit for a cheek swab, and that is it, she said.

“You never hear from us again unless you come up as a match, and if you do you are probably that person’s last chance at survival,” Douglas said.

Chapin said that she learned a lot while running Dance Marathon this year, and she and Randall have plans to make it even bigger next year.