WCU dances to save lives

Students playing with child from the Children's Hospital. Photo by April Alexander

Western’s basketball courts in Campus Rec Center looked like a mayhem and joy mixed with a loud music. For 12 hours 400 people were dancing away their Saturday for a good deed- raising money for the children who could not dance.

Western Carolina University hosted its 2nd annual Dance Marathon on March 9 raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Last year, the Western Carolina community raised over $8,000 for this event.  This year, the amount doubled, with proceeds going well over $16,000. The money raised will go towards the Children’s Hospital in Greenville, SC to pay for medical treatments for infants, children, and adolescents.

“This is my second year participating in Dance Marathon. I personally love coming out and dancing for the children and hearing their stories knowing that I am helping make a difference in their lives,” said Emily Dobbs, a student at WCU.

The theme for the event was “The kid in all of us,” to represent a time when we were all children ourselves.  Students, staff, along with the families of the children who have received treatment at the Children’s Hospital, all danced and played games to raise awareness for the children who can’t.

Students dancing at Dance Marathon. Photo by April Alexander

Among those children, was 6 year old Neely Thompson, a former patient of the Children’s Hospital. Thompson was diagnosed with a rare disease at the age of 2, and is now a healthy, normal child.

“This is amazing what you all are doing for the children’s hospital. You don’t think about it until you need it. I would’ve been a part of it in college if I knew then what I know now,” said Christy Thompson, the mother of Neely Thompson.

One of the families that came out to support the event came to represent their daughter, who was in a car accident 5 years ago and was treated at Children’s hospital. She was unconscious for 3 days until she died at the age of 14.

“Keep doing what you’re doing,” said Tonya Taylor, the mother of the young girl.

While participants danced the night away, volunteers and the dance marathon committee members made sure the event ran smoothly and helped set up and clean up after the event was over.

“I love volunteering for Dance Marathon because it makes me feel like I’m making a difference in somebody’s life, but when there are too many volunteers you’re not really making a difference,” said Courtney Dobner, a Junior at WCU.

WCU will continue to raise awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network through Dance Marathon, and raise money for the kids.