DJ joins list of many activities for Dance Marathon

By: Allie Taiber

Cedar Falls High School is hosting it’s fourth annual dance marathon this Friday, at 7 p.m. in the gym. It’s a fun-filled night in order to raise money for the University of Iowa’s Children’s Hospital. All proceeds are going toward the kids, their families, medicine, medical bills, hospitality/care for the patients and much more. The goal this year is to raise $3,000.

Dance marathon is a nationwide movement, involving college and high school students at more than 150 schools across the country who raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in their communities.

Students learn valuable leadership and social skills while raising funds in a variety of ways and interacting with children’s hospital patients and families. Many colleges culminate the year with a 12- to 36-hour-long event where the students stay on their feet through dancing, games and entertainment in order to celebrate the total amount raised that year.

Four years ago when The University of Northern Iowa came to the high school in hopes try to launch the event for younger students, dance marathon facilitator and counselor Erin Gardner was more than happy to help.

“My own son uses University of Iowa hospitals services because he has a genetic eye disorder, so I was very up for helping them out. Every time we go down there, the facilities and people are amazing,” Gardner said.

Many teachers and community members have children who struggle with health issues. When such an event is put on, the community comes together for a good cause.

Student Body President Sara Ashar recalled why she is fighting for the kids.

“I fight for those who can’t. Nothing hurts my heart more than knowing that there are kids much smaller and younger than me who can’t physically make it to another day. It’s not fair. It’s even worse for the families who have to see their babies in pain every day, let alone the financial burden that treatment brings upon them,” Ashar said.

This year the high school will be hosting three families, and their children who are victims of illness attend the marathon and are supported by the school. As the kids walk into the dances, they are reminded that people are out there fighting for them, and there’s no reason to give up.

“The smiles on those kiddo’s faces after knowing that there is someone there that cares for them and wants them to live another day is priceless,” Ashar said.

The night will be filled with dancing, dodge-ball, DJs, nine square, karaoke, glow-in-the-dark hide and go seek and more. Everyone is welcome to come and support.

Organizers and participants said the satisfaction from knowing that students’ hard work was worth the time and effort put into it makes the event even better, and that raising hundreds and thousands of dollars for a cause, all while throwing a fun event for fellow students is an incomparable reward.

Gardner said,“I’m proud to help with such an amazing opportunity for both our students and kids.”

So get out there tonight! It’ for the kids.

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