Student organization Heart of Gold turned McLane Great Hall into a circus full of fun with games, food and dance lessons for their annual Dance Marathon on Friday, March 22.
The event is hosted by colleges across the country with the purpose of raising money for children with pediatric illnesses. The idea behind the event is to gather a group of people together to dance for the children who are not able to dance. The Dance Marathon slogan “For the Kids” serves as a reminder of the organization’s purpose. However, the event includes much more than dancing.
Also included in this year’s Dance Marathon were carnival games, face painting, a video
game tournament and a silent auction. Several entertainers added to the night’s festivities. There were musical performances by the reigning Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor, Briana Fredrickson, and a trio of Baylor students called the Spicy Boyz. There was also a juggling contortionist, and a few UMHB students volunteered to dress up as Disney princesses and superheroes for the children.
At the top of every hour, members of Impact Dance taught the attendees a three part dance to a mashup of songs from “The Greatest Showman.”
Children who are currently undergoing treatment at McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple were invited to attend the event and share their stories throughout the night. This year, two nine-year-old girls from the hospital attended the Dance Marathon and represented the children who could not be there.
“Dance Marathon was really eye opening,” freshman psychology pre-med major Janeajia Green, who volunteered at the event, said. She said that meeting one of the children from the hospital inspired her.
“It was such blessing to be able to make a difference and simply give my time, even if I was not able to give much money. Meeting Ava gave me such an energy boost. I felt like I was meeting my very own superheroes. When I grow up, I want to be just like them, showing people and inspiring them to be more than they can [be],” Green said.
Every guest received a hospital bracelet to wear. At the end of the night, two of the children from McLane Children’s Hospital cut the bracelets off of students’ arms. This Dance Marathon tradition is a reminder that attendees are able to take off their bracelets, while these children have to continue wearing theirs as they undergo treatments.
At the start of this school year, Heart of Gold set a goal to raise at least $10,000 in donations for McLane Children’s Hospital. This year’s Dance Marathon helped the organization exceed its goal and raise $10,622.28 in total. This money will go toward Heart of Gold’s choice of programs or medical equipment.