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.”
The Bagpiper: Why does FCDM matter to you?
Rachel Sketo: I’m definitely here for the kids. I think this is one of the greatest things we can do. Riley hospital is an amazing place and it does amazing things for the kids in Indiana. I’m not a Hoosier but after working in Indiana, this is my seventh year working in Indiana, and I’ve seen Riley and what it has done for some of my own students. I just really appreciate it. I think it is amazing. I just want to do whatever I can to help.
BP: How are you involved?
RS: So I am one of the teacher sponsors. I am in charge of the decorations committee. So I help the kids come up with ideas and I kind of figure it out logistically-how it’s going to all come together. They split into parts and they all all assigned sections, so I help make sure they can see the whole picture. I try to provide them with things they need or I help them work through an idea. You know we get here Friday night and put it all together and it’s a little nuts, but it’s the best part.
BP: How is this year different from previous FCDMs?
RS: This is only my second official year being involved in Dance Marathon, and this year I feel like I really know what I am doing as opposed to last year. Obviously, I knew what Dance Marathon was, but I hadn’t seen it go through, you know, from its beginning stages to the end. So, since last year was my first year, Christina Bauerla and I were the decorations committee together, so she lead the way and I learned a lot from her. And then this year Christina isn’t with us so it’s been a lot easier doing it by myself having had Christina last year. But opposed to our mission, you know, everything’s the same. We all just have a great passion for Riley and for the kids. And I think my passion has just grown stronger this year and I just am really-I think this is really important. I am happy to do this.