By Bhriana Smith | Published May 9, 2016
Kean University held its third annual dance marathon on Friday, April 15, 2016 from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. in Downs Hall on Kean University’s main campus. The dance marathon is a 12-hour fundraising event hosted by Kean’s Greek Senate.
The marathon is a celebration which commemorates the year-long fundraising efforts of the students benefiting the Children’s Specialized Hospital, which has 13 locations throughout N.J. Leading up to the event, participants are encouraged to raise funds via bake sales, canning and other creative ways.
According to their website, the Children’s Specialized Hospital, is a non-profit organization that specializes in aiding children and adolescents facing special health challenges, ranging from multifaceted, physical disabilities to chronic illnesses. The organization works closely with families, doctors, pediatric specialists and researchers who depend on donations to discover new and innovative ways to help the aforementioned children.
All donations go directly to helping the organization pioneer new specialized children’s care.
Every year, the Kean Dance Marathon has a child and their family come out to speak to the
generous donors and students who fundraised for the event. This year, it was six-year-old Jude Siperstein, a toddler, who suffered from a spinal cord injury. Accompanying Jude was his mother, Amy Boright.
“It’s good that you throw events like this,” said Boright to the crowd.
Boright explained that when Jude was four, he suffered from an ear infection that turned into meningomyelitis, an inflammation of the spinal chord. His diagnoses decreased his muscle tone, left him extremely weak and with temporary paralysis. He was admitted into the Specialized Children’s Hospital inpatient facility, where he remained for 12 and a half weeks.
After his time in the inpatient facility, Jude was discharged due to his improvements and became an outpatient where he continues to make progress.
After Boright expressed her gratitude to the Kean community, she allowed Jude to end her
speech, who said a hearty “thank you” to crowd.
The proceeds for this dance marathon go towards the treatments of many like Jude. No exact amount from this event goes directly to one child.
The very first Kean Dance Marathon was held on April 11, 2014 and ran from noon until
midnight. Greek senate raised $12,518.10.
“Our goal was $30,000 and we are still amazed by how much we surpassed that,” said Lauren Rosenthal, a graduate assistant who works with Greek Senate. “Last year, we raised $25,516, and were named the number one Miracle Network Dance Marathon in New Jersey.”
A few weeks before this year’s dance marathon, Kean Greek Senate received word that Rowan University, located in Glassboro, N.J., raised $35,000. If Kean did not raise more than Rowan, Rowan’s dance marathon would have be named the number one Miracle Network Dance Marathon in N.J. for 2016.
“We tried to motivate students and all those involved to put a final push for donations in the last few weeks,” Rosenthal said. “We were determined to keep out #1 spot.”
The competitive push was exactly what the Greek senate needed. This year, the Kean Dance Marathon raised a total of $38,014.24.
That’s $3,014.24 more than Rowan, and $8,014.24 over this year’s projected goal. It’s also
$12,498.25 more than last years Kean Dance Marathon.
“I think this fundraiser is a creative idea,” said Bianca Dossous, a
senior, sociology major. “This is my second time attending it, and it seems to be getting better and better.”
Because this event is hosted by Greek Senate, the fraternities and sororities who participate in the event were recognized for first, second and third place at the end according to who raised the most.
The three fraternities that are recognized this year for raising the most money are Nu Delta Pi ($5332), Nu Sigma Phi ($1930) and Sigma Theta Chi ($1757).
Delta Phi Epsilon is the sorority that raised the most money for this years dance marathon
($3505). Sigma Beta Chi came in second with $1065.46, and Nu Theta Chi in third with $976.
All of the efforts of each of the participating, Greek organizations are recognized and
Adre Brown, Vice President and director of public relations for Beta Kappa Psi Black and Latino fraternity incorporated, only had three words to sum up the event.
“It was lit,” said Brown.
“I’m proud of the Greek turnout for this,” said Brown. “And shout out to the ladies from Mu Sigma Upsilon for their first performance.”
The dance marathon was not only limited to dancing. There were games, prizes, food and music from DJ Nix in the Mix.
“The important thing is that even though everyone had fun, no one forgot why we came,” said Aniyyah Ellis, a senior Communications media major.
More information about Kean Dance Marathon can be found on their website www.
keandm.kintera.org. Follow this link to make a donation to the Specialized Children Hospital.