Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Dance Marathon Moves for Staff Involvement

    Beginning at 10 a.m. on Feb. 23, Seattle University students will be participating in the annual Seattle U Dance Marathon. Along with the unique form of excitement that arises at the thought of dancing for 16 straight hours, the Dance Marathon provides a venue for fundraising for the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

    The number of participants continues to grow each year, drawing students out from many different groups and organizations at Seattle U. However, the Dance Marathon Committee is looking to increase the presence of a particular faction of Seattle U population at the event: faculty and staff.

    “We’ve received a lot of support from a lot of different places,” said Shane Price, the Overall Chair of the Dance Marathon Committee. “But we would love to see more members of the university involved in Dance Marathon.”

    Dance Marathon 2013 has already raised over $20,000 for the Seattle Children’s Hospital, almost doubling the amount the event raised four years ago. This money, which will contribute to the millions donated to the cause each year, makes a critical difference for the patients at Seattle
    Children’s Hospital.

    “Amid the child-friendly, life-size giraffes and elephants that greet you at the door, there is a buzz—an energy of perseverance that defines our community,” said the Seattle Children’s Hospital web page. “We are united by a compelling mission: to prevent, treat and eliminate pediatric disease.”

    The mission of Seattle Children’s Hospital draws similarities to the mission of Seattle U’s Dance Marathon. Although the main objective is to raise money for the cause, the Dance Marathon committee also wants to create an environment of community ubiquitous to Seattle U. This atmosphere encourages everyone to enjoy the festivities and also to unite over the philanthropic meaning of this event.

    “Our primary goal of course is fundraising,” Price said. “Because that’s what’s going to help the children at Seattle Children’s the most, the uncompensated care fund. But we also want to create a really moving experience for people, who not only fundraise but then participate in the marathon. Because it’s really about doing something solely for someone else, and we’re really driving that home at the event.”

    The Dance Marathon Committee devised a number of strategies in order to increase faculty and staff presence. One new installment: community visiting hours. From 3 to 5 p.m., members of the community are welcome to join the festivities in Campion Ballroom. Not only will community visiting hours include patient speakers and presentations, it designates a certain time for faculty, staff and members of the local community to come in.

    “We’re trying to create an experience that is more involving to the faculty and staff,” Price said. “In the past it’s kind of been like, ‘When do I show up?’ We’re providing those specific times when community members can show up.”

    Another new aspect of Dance Marathon 2013 is the kid’s corner. Often, the patient speakers at the event are the only children in attendance. By providing this space, those visiting can bring their children.

    Dance Marathon 2013 will also host a number of speakers, both current and former patients of Seattle Children’s Hospital.

    “At 4 p.m. we’re having a community presentation,” Price said. “It’s going to be all about our mission and Seattle Children’s and sharing stories. So really establishing the connection between Seattle Children’s and Seattle University’s Dance Marathon.”

    In order to relay all these new amendments to the event, the Dance Marathon Committee has been working fervently to spread the news.

    “We’ve really upped our presence in social media, through a number of different formats,” Price said. “We have someone from Seattle Children’s that is our contact and we had a segment on King 5 over the holidays.”

    Director of Student Activities Bernie Liang and Assistant Director of Student Activities Patrick Rossman are also helping the cause by writing a letter directed specifically to faculty and staff.

    “I went to Penn State and they have the biggest philanthropic Dance Marathon. This is something I’m really passionate about,” said Liang. “I really think it’s an event that speaks to the values of Seattle U. Patrick and I actually drafted a letter that will be going out to faculty and staff to explain it a little bit more.”

    “We’re trying to create an event that will attract people to attend,” Price said. “And then when they see what we do they’ll want to support us
    even more.”

    Sherilynn may be reached at [email protected]

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover
    About the Contributor
    Sherilynn Soo, Author

    Comments (0)

    All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *