By Natalie Clare
When: February 23, 2019
Never sit down, never stop dancing. Throughout the night of dance marathon, hundreds of FC students dance for those who cannot.
“Dance Marathon is an organization for Riley Children’s Hospital that raises money to support research, help support families while they are there,” said FCDM sponsor Ashley Faith. “Dance Marathon at Floyd Central is just a fundraising opportunity to help move in that bigger direction.”
FCDM does not just give during the holiday season, but year round. Medical bills and hospital stays can build up. So, Dance Marathon raises tens of thousands of dollars to help families focus on what is important: the quality of their child’s life.
It all started with Ryan White, said Faith. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS after a faulty blood transfusion in December, 1984. Ryan was subjected to AIDS-related hatred and his story went viral. The first Dance Marathon was held in honor of Ryan White.
“It was mainly a college thing, and it sort of branched out from there,” said Faith. “Floyd Central Dance Marathon is a part of IU Bloomington. Although, they all go together in the end.”
Over the years, FCDM has also had a growing monetary goal. This year, Faith said the school goal is $75,000. Having this goal gives fundraising a finish line, so students should set individual goals to help with their fundraising.
“My personal monetary goals this year is $2,500,” said FCDM executive member Kelby Rippy. “That would put my individual total raised funds at $7,000 over the last four years.”
It is easy to get caught up in the money aspect of fundraising. Sometimes, when we take a step back and remembering who is being fundraised for, we are refocused on our main goal.
“[Dance Marathon] is not a dance, like many people think it is,” said Faith. “It’s meant to bring awareness and raise money. That’s why we bring the Riley families in, so that the kids from our school can see who this is impacting. They can put a face and a name to where their money is going.”
Because Faith’s daughter was a premie, she connects on a personal level to the organization. Having her own experiences is a motivator, so she wanted to participate in a group that helped other families going through what she had.
FCDM has raised over $500,000 in total from all the years of fundraising. This money has helped many families in the hardest of times.
“Giving back to the community is important to me because it allows me to help someone other than myself,” said Rippy. “I love having the opportunity to give to someone who needs it.”