Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 30, 2024

More than 150 students were dancing in the dark last Saturday, some with glowsticks and clad in neon attire at this year’s Dance Marathon.

The 156 participants raised $12,562.25 at the event. The Dance Marathon was brought to Hopkins by senior Amanda Leininger three years ago.

The event lasted from 8 p.m. on Sat., March 3 until 4 a.m. the following morning. Dancers fundraised prior to the event and were encouraged to stay on their feet throughout the night, stimulated by activities like an Emcee, DJs and theme hours. Every hour a “morale dance” was performed by the executive board to keep dancers going, while the hourly “miracle minutes” showed videos about why raising money for Children’s Miracle Network is so important.

The money raised through Dance Marathon goes towards making cancer patients and families feel better through supplying items that insurance does not cover, such as specialized warming beds for neonatal ICU patients and parking passes for parents.

Although the event fell short of its $17,000 goal, it exceeded last year’s $10,000 achievement. Leininger and her co-president junior Alexandra Colt were impressed by the event’s yields.

“This year’s event was an absolute success,” Leininger wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “We couldn’t ask for anything more. We don’t think there is a way for DM to ever not be successful, even if five dancers attend and raise $100, it helps kids, and that’s what DM is all about.”

The Dance Marathon executive board, which is composed of 17 members, also invited two families helped by the Children’s Center and child ambassador Julie Grumbine to attend the event.

“Our main goal for DM this year was to increase our relationship with the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and as we are fundraising for the kids and families Hopkins helps, it was really important to us to have a family at our event,” Leininger said.

Both Leininger and Colt expressed a personal connection with both Dance Marathon and the institutions it services; Leininger volunteers in the pediatric unit of the Hopkins Children’s Center.

“It can be a scary place for patients and families, and anything we can do to make the hospital experience a little easier for them. Seeing those kids and families gives me the motivation to work hard to make DM a success for the kids,” Colt wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

When discussing her personal attachment to the program, Leininger spoke of the importance of a child’s parents in the recovery process.

“I was born with improperly formed sinuses and, as a result, my parents spent a lot of time at the local children’s Hospital with me for the first few years of my life. I don’t remember much of it and I ended up eventually being fine but I know it was incredibly rough on my parents. The money we raise does not go to the same hospital my brother or I received treatment/care at but the connection still exists for me,” she said.

The initial funding for the event came from the Student Activities Commission. Freshman Suzy Futerman, Dance Marathon’s fundraising director, applied for numerous grants, receiving donations from University Alumni Association, the Office of the Dean of Student Life and the Johns Hopkins Federal Credit Union.

Liz Jedrlinic raised the most money for a non-executive board member, while the JHU Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority raised the most for a team.


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