Dance Party Raises Money for Sick Kids

Ramapo College’s Dance Marathon Club, an organization entirely student-run “for the kids,” hosted its Fourth Annual Dance Marathon to benefit Children’s Specialized Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals this past Friday night.
The event was sponsored by Phi Delta Epsilon (PDE) medical fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and the Student Government Association. Other student organizations formed teams, including the Nursing Student Organization, Ramapo NORML, United Cultural Greek Council and Model United Nations. DJ SNBX provided dance music and first-year students were rewarded points towards the First Year Student Challenge (FYSC) for attendance and engagement.
According to the Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon’s website, the first affiliated Dance Marathon was founded by students at Hamilton Heights High School in Indiana in 1991. Former student and peer, Ryan White, inspired the event after his stay at the Riley Hospital for Children and eventual death from the HIV/AIDS virus. Ever since, the charitable phenomenon has expanded to more than 150 high schools and universities nationally. All proceeds are donated to the local Children’s Specialized Hospital. Like at Ramapo, Dance Marathon has become a yearly and everlasting campus tradition.
President of Ramapo’s Dance Marathon, senior Gary Miuccio, described his experience with the event positively.
“I loved every second of organizing this event,” Miuccio said. “From working with my executive board members to going out and getting prizes donated, it is all my favorite. I have learned so much about myself, my college and the surrounding communities.”
PDE has co-sponsored the Ramathon annually since its first year.
“[PDE] did a lot of behind-the-scenes work such as planning and putting together the theme and decorations,” said Kimberly Chen, a sophomore and member of the organization. “This is an event that we have been planning since the beginning of the year, so a lot of time and thinking were put into it. As a medical fraternity, helping out Children’s Specialized Hospital is very important and close to our hearts because helping the children is something that we are all passionate about.”
The event was considered a success and received a lot of positive feedback from participants.
“Everything just came together really well and all the hard work really paid off,” said Stephanie Chen, a sophomore and PDE member. “The DJ and food were awesome, the decorations looked really nice and everyone seemed to have lots of fun. Plus, the children were smiling the whole night and were just so cute and sweet. Everyone that put Ramathon together worked for so many months to fundraise and plan. I will most definitely participate again. I don’t have any criticism about it at all.”
However, the fundraising efforts for Children’s Specialized Hospital are not over. The Dance Marathon Club introduced “Don’t Stop December” at Ramathon to continue collecting donations and foster even greater enthusiasm for the charity to fulfill the organization’s goal of raising $24,000. Ramathon collected nearly $21,700 in donations Friday night, which is more than $2,300 shy of its goal.
“I think the outcome could have been better, but I think most will agree that it neared its fullest potential for this year if it did not surpass it,” Miuccio said. “I love the students involved with Ramathon, our families, our school and our hospitals. I can guarantee that if people actually took the time to listen and experience the cause, the event would prosper and take off to unbelievable levels.”