By Alaina King, Hannah Cheatham, Brad Hunt, and Zoe Doebbler
After all the dancing, eating, stories, and games, Dance Marathon came to an end Saturday night.
“This has just been the product of all of our hard work that we’ve worked on for almost a year now and it is just so nice to see it all come to life,” said junior Emily Naville.
Although the process of putting together Dance Marathon was overwhelming, the night proved to be successful.
“This night means so much to me because it is the result of all this drama, stress, exhaustion, and hard work. Everything that has been so overwhelming for months now and seeing it all come together and seeing everyone enjoying themselves is really inspiring,” said senior Sarah Henry.
The night proved to be eventful, even to those attending for the first time.
“Dance Marathon has been amazing and great. It was really nice having the Riley kids talk and share their stories because it was really inspirational,” said freshman Lucas Willman. “My favorite part was the rave; I really enjoyed that.”
Many families from Riley visited Dance Marathon to share their stories.
“Hearing all the kids’ stories has really made me realize why I do this. They have been such amazing people to have gone through this and still stayed positive and came to share their stories and I have been so inspired. My favorite part this year has been meeting the Riley families because since I’m on the Riley Relations Committee I have been talking to them for months now, but tonight was the first time I have met them in person,” said Naville.
One of the Dance Marathon coordinators, English teacher Matthew Townsend, said he hopes Dance Marathon teaches selflessness.
“Dance Marathon means doing something larger and not focusing on ourselves. This is all for the kids and that means doing all we can do so we can provide someone at Riley some kind of hope or inspiration that they didn’t have yesterday,” said Townsend. “All that matters is that Riley has money that they didn’t have before.”
Students involved with Dance Marathon encourage others to experience the event in future years.
“If you have thinking about going next year, then definitely come,” said Naville. “You can’t even comprehend what Dance Marathon is unless you witness it.”