Under the theme "The AcaDMy Awards," the eight-hour event concluded a yearlong fundraising effort. Throughout the year, Dance Marathon hosted a series of events, including the Color Run, which was co-hosted by the HOP; and an inspiration week to give registrants all the tools needed to successfully raise money.
The group enlisted the help of fraternities and sororities to create teams and hold events such as Phi Psi's Back to School kickoff, Beta Theta Pi's Beta Theta Thrift, and Sigma Chi, Phi Delta Theta, and Kappa Alpha Theta's joint Krispy Kreme and Boba Tea fundraiser. Dance Marathon also challenged students to meet personal fundraising goals of $100 or more.
All the money raised during this cycle will support the weekend salary of a child life specialist.
"As we know, children don't stop needing attention, care, and entertainment on the weekend just because most people work 9 to 5, Monday through Friday," said Daphna Varadi, a JHU senior and executive director of Dance Marathon. "Insurance does not cover this kind of care, but it is vital to the well-being and health of the children."
Approximately 150 students learned choreographed dances, listened to stories from Miracle Kids or their parents, watched student performances, or took $1 selfies with Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels. For each selfie, the president donated $5 to Dance Marathon.
During each hour of the event, students participated in a new fundraising-focused game. They could throw pie at the faces of Dance Marathon executive board members, buy a piece of duct tape to tape Varadi to the wall, play Hungry Hungry Hippos using scooters and laundry baskets, or race as mummies wrapped in toilet paper.
There was also a photo booth and food donations from Chick-Fil-A, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Domino's, Insomnia Cookies, and Panda Express.
Varadi said she is thankful to all the dancers and donors who made this year's event possible.
"I couldn't have asked for a better final Dance Marathon," she said. "I am proud of my team for all that we accomplished this year."
Members of the JHU community can make donations to JHU Dance Marathon online.