Dance till ya Drop!

WCU’s Recreation Center basketball courts became a dancing hall on March 10 with people dancing twist, rock-and-roll, and rumba for 12 hours. It was WCU’s first Dance Marathon.

Dance Marathon is a fundraising event that involves thousands of college and high school students across the nation at over 150 schools. It was started in 1991 by students and is growing strong since. Today around 17 million kids per year and 170 hospitals in the Children’s Miracle Network benefit from the money raised with dancing.  The Children’s Miracle Network helps make the hospital a more relaxing environment for the patients who go through the children’s hospital.  Money raised will also help pay for expensive medications and procedures for the children.

The hosts of the event, WCU’s Office of Leadership, wanted to raise as much money as possible for the Greenville, South Carolina Children’s Hospital part of the Children’s Miracle Network.  Mike Corelli, the WCU Associate Director of Leadership, said a benefit dinner and silent auction held on February 18 helped raise money for the event.  A 5k on the morning of the event also helped raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Much more than dancing went on during the event.  Games were played and face paint booths were occupied to the dancers and children. Live performers donated their time and skill for the event. Several hula-hoops were being hooped and beach balls tossed through the air for the dancers to mix it up and fully enjoy the occasion.  Wii game consoles were also set up to encourage dancing, mingling, and just plain fun.

There were five patients from Greenville hospital who were guests of Western’s Office of Leadership.

“All the dancers were broken up into five different groups represented by the color of their shirts and each color represented a different child,” said Tacquice Wiggan, Assistant Director of Leadership.

The yellow and red shirts represented the Hill family because they have two children; the blue shirts represented the Hannah family, the House family by the green, and the Thompson family by the purple.

When all the numbers were tallied up, Western Carolina raised over $8,000 with the help of approximately 200 dancers.  Even though the event was a hit, plans are being made to make next year’s Dance Marathon a greater success.