Raising money through dance


Natalie Rowland and Nick Loughery

When senior Kiersten Richter found out about the opportunity to take part in an event to help raise money for kids at Riley Children’s Hospital, she was eager to join.

“I wanted to be apart of DM because it’s a really fun way to raise money for a really good cause that impacts kids and families directly from our community,” Richter said.

Dance Marathon began in 1991 at Indiana University to honor AIDS patient Ryan White. Today, the program is Riley’s fastest-growing fundraising event program with more than 60 high schools and colleges participating.

LN’s Dance Marathon was started last year by Anna Morgan. Morgan approached yearbook adviser Sarah Jamerson who agreed to be the school sponsor for the club. Richter joined LN’s dance marathon team last year when she served as vice president. This year, Richter is following in Morgan’s footsteps as she took over as president to lead the club and raise money for the kids at Riley.

“I’ve loved being a part of dance marathon. It’s definitely stressful, but at the end of the day I just remember it isn’t about how much you raise it’s about why you’re doing it,” Richter said.

Jamerson loves running and participating Dance Marathon. Her mother died of cancer when she was younger and knows the effects it can have on a family. She doesn’t want the same to happen to any family, so she helped bring Dance Marathon to LN to help raise money for Riley as well as cancer.

“Dance Marathon is something close to my heart. I lost my mom to cancer at a young age. Anything I can do to help these kids or parents or anyone, I will try my best to do. I want to do whatever I can do to make a difference. I would have loved that same opportunity available for me and my family,” Jamerson said.

Dance Marathon is a great way for students to help raise money for others in their community who need it. They are able to volunteer themselves and promote Dance Marathon to other kids in the school to help out as well. To Jamerson, Dance Marathon is a great way to raise awareness for the kids.

“It opens their eyes to some of the negative things that can affect our student, families, and communities. It can raise money to help for these kids and Riley,” Jamerson said.

Last year, LN Dance Marathon raised $13,629.03 for Riley. This year, they hope to raise more money and to continue to grow the event.

“Our goal is to make it bigger every year. Lots of people are helping out and so I am excited to see how many people show up and how much money we raise,” Jamerson said.

This year, Dance Marathon has been raising money by selling donuts before school starts and cupcakes during lunch. They have also gotten support from businesses in the area and have sold food outside of school to help them meet their goal.  

“We have reached out to many businesses and hosted dine to donates at places like Handles, CR Heroes, Hot Box and many more. We also had a cupcake and brownie delivery day where we made a ton of cupcakes and brownies and people could order them and would just have to pay a small delivery fee and we drove around and dropped them all off,” Richter said.

Dance Marathon also raises money through personal funding accounts. These accounts can be made by any student who wishes to help out.

“Personal fundraising is also a big one that’s open to everybody, not just the committee members. You make an account of the dance marathon website and it creates a fundraising page where you can reach out to friends and family to donate to,” Richter said.

Richter loves being the president of the whole operation because she is really able to help out the kids for a good cause. When she found out she was the president, she was ready for the challenge.

“It has been very good. It is stressful because eyes are on me all the time. I cannot wait to see what it looks like in the end. I hope one day I can come back and see how far it has come since I did it,” Richter said.

The kids from Riley come to LN for the event. The LN students party with them and have a fun time. People gather up in the fieldhouse and just dance and hangout with all of their friends. People dress up in funny outfits and go crazy.

“The event is really fun. We have music, food, and a ton of activities. You also get to hear Riley stories directly from past & present Riley kids which is really important because it reminds you why you’re there and why we raised money throughout the year,” Richter said.

Sophomore Sam Morgan joined Dance Marathon last year to help his sister, Anna,in running the event. He hopes to run Dance Marathon when he is a senior just like his sister, so he can help the community.

“I would like to be part of the dance marathon because it is for an amazing cause and I would like to give back to my community and others in need,” Sam Morgan said.

Morgan believes that the dance marathon team has done a great job organizing and leading the event this year. He is also excited to see Hewitt lead dance marathon next year as president.

“Our current team for the dance marathon is great and Kiersten is doing a very good job of leading everyone and next year I know Presley will also do amazing because of how nice, outgoing, and caring she is to everyone around her,” Sam Morgan said.

Hewitt is has enjoyed being apart of the Dance Marathon team next year and is excited to lead it next year. She hopes that she will be able to continue to grow the event in order to support the community and the kids at Riley.

“I’m a part of dance marathon because I have many friends that have gone through Riley and hearing the impact from the money we raise brings such a gratifying feeling.My hope going into next year is to be able to include more people than previous years and use that to our ability to meet an even higher goal for the kids,” Hewitt said.

Richter loved dance marathon last year and hopes for new people to come out to see why she loves it so much. She hopes that a lot of people in the community will come out to support the cause.

“I’ve loved being a part of dance marathon. It is one of my favorite nights of the year,” Richter said.