Dance Marathon raises money for McLane Children’s Hospital

On Friday, March 2, UMHB’s Heart of Gold hosted a dance marathon for students to donate money, win prizes, and dance in support of McLane Children’s Hospital.
During March, the Dance Marathon takes place on college campuses across the nation on the first weekend of the month. This is UMHB’s 3rd Annual marathon.
Karon Chapa, a senior pre-occupational therapy major, was this year’s host. Chapa’s best friend, Taylor, was diagnosed with a rare cancer and fought it for six years.
When Chapa became a sophomore at UMHB she reached out to Taylor to see what she could do to help.
“We contacted her and said, ‘Hey how can we do this? We want to make a difference for our community. How can we get involved in this?’”
Taylor was able to help them jump start the first marathon while doing her own marathon and going through chemotherapy. Then Taylor planned to attend their first marathon, but passed away a month beforehand.
“This whole event is in the honor of her and the honor of the kids at McLane’s,” Chapa said. “The slogan for the night is ‘Dancing for those who can’t’”.
The money is going to help get 150 new beds at McLane Children’s Hospital.
“We have so many kids from this area that are needing the hospital.” Chapa said. “We were walking blindly the whole year… and this event is totally God-sent. We couldn’t have done any of this without Him.”
Students who attended had positive remarks about the event.
“The kids that came were a lot of fun to have,” Skaiye Finney, a sophomore nursing major, said. She also said she came to help build a good support system among students and children at McLane Children’s Hospital.
Alexander Williams, a senior clinical psychology major, attended because he always wanted to work with kids and he finds it to be a very rewarding experience.
“It’s the best way I could’ve spent my Friday night!,” Williams said, as he was working at the marathon. “We started meeting in September… trying to get venues and stores to donate stuff… and last night we blew up about 200 balloons for this event. It’s a lot of work but it’s rewarding.”
Every hour the group learned more of the morale dance (they learned a new segment of a choreography), listened to a highlight story, which featured a student, child, or faculty member who had been touched with a lethal disease, and had raffle prizes. Madison Merryman, who dressed up as Disney Princess Belle, exclaimed that she was ready for the event.
“I was really excited.. I absolutely love this! I was actually talking to one of the kids, Danny, and then Logan is really sweet.. We went around and were able to get donations. It was really great,” Merryman said.

Freshmen Audrey Prisk and Laci Gray dance together at the Dance Marathon hosted by Heart of Gold on Saturday, March 3 in the Mayborn Campus Center. Photo by Riley Rogers/ The Bells

Author: Riley Rogers

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