After 12 hours of dancing, fundraising and keeping up positive morale, the 200+ attendees at GW Dance Marathon could finally take a seat to unveil the grand total fundraised throughout the event: $77,402.38. There was something so magical about this moment; we knew what we had done was going to make a huge impact.
GW Dance Marathon is an organization started only last year and strives to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in the DC area through a 12 hour dance marathon. Each attendee must raise at least fifty dollars to participate in the event, and pledge to remain standing for the entirety of the marathon.
Throughout the 12 hours, dancers learn a 5 minute long morale dance, hear from multiple different student performance groups, enjoy food provided by several sponsors around the area and spend time with the miracle families, hearing about their personal experiences with the Miracle Network Hospitals.
During the weeks leading up to the event, I thought closer as to why I was dancing and what GW Dance Marathon meant to me. Upon these thoughts, I always went back to memories of my elementary school best friend, Alexandra Scott. Alex was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma as a young child and instead of letting it diminish her spirit she founded the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, an organization focused on raising funds to beat childhood cancer. I was lucky enough to share a birthday with Alex, be in her class for 1st and 2nd grades, and to attend the first ever Alex's Lemonade Stand located in her backyard. Alex's inspiration has been a huge part of my life as I've grown and encountered new experiences. Although Alex is no longer alive, I truly felt connected to her throughout the 12-hour marathon. By dancing for kids in similar situations as Alex, I felt I was keeping her spirit alive and pursuing her dream of making sure everyone has a healthy and happy childhood. Although my feet ached after 12 hours of constant moving, I knew that the pain I endured was nothing in comparison to the pain that Alex dealt with throughout her time in the hospital. I was also lucky enough to have the support of my Epsilon Sigma Alpha sisters during the marathon. Knowing how hard I’d been working on promoting this marathon during the months prior, my sisters helped fuel my excitement and showed pride in my accomplishments. It was amazing to have spent the 12 hours with both my Dance Marathon family and my ESA family.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a rewarding experience. Every child deserves to dance and be healthy, and GW Dance Marathon will keep fighting until every child can.