It’s that time of year again. Your fellow Batesies are posting on social media about the Dance Marathon for the children’s hospital, and they’re asking you to donate. You read the little blurb about the kids, think about the status of your bank account, and just when you think you’re good to do it, you start to wonder. Yeah, you get that it’s for the kids, but you’re still a little fuzzy. What’s a Dance Marathon, exactly? Will you have to dance? What’s this about inflatables? If you feel equally as confused as I did, keep reading. I reached out to the Bates event’s executive director Emily Bass for help answering some of my most burning questions.
First off, Dance Marathon is not unique to Bates. It is a nationwide fundraiser for hospitals within the Children’s Miracle Network– so if you’ve seen fundraising posts from your non-Bates friends, that’s why. Within the NESCAC alone, Bowdoin, Trinity, Tufts, and Wesleyan, all have upcoming events to raise money for their local network hospitals. This will only be our second year hosting an event, and all proceeds raised will go to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland. The money helps fund programs like their car seat program, which provides car seats for children with medical needs that prevent them from using traditional ones, and allows the hospital to invest in new technology, like MRI machines where patients can watch movies during the process.
Now, you’re probably thinking that’s awesome, and I’d love to donate and attend the event, but what if I can’t dance? That’s okay! This event is still for you. You don’t even have to dance if you don’t want to, but if you think you do, take comfort in this Dance Marathon saying: “Bad dancing saves lives.” Video Game Club will be facilitating Just Dance and 1 2 Switch, and there will be built in Zumba and yoga classes you can opt-in to, but it’s not a requirement. This year’s event will also feature performances from 2BEATS, Bollywood, ManOps, and Crosstones, plus inflatables, food, and raffles with gift cards to Lewiston and Portland restaurants up for grabs. If you arrive before the 4 PM Opening Ceremonies, you get 10 free entries, and if you’re one of the first 25 people to arrive, you’re in for a free sweet treat. I know what it is, but I guess you’ll have to get there early to find out, huh?
See, I’ve learned the point of Dance Marathon is not to dance as long as you can to make the most money for the hospital, which I thought it was up until I started writing this article. Your donors may give money on your behalf, sure, but you don’t have to fight for it; once they’ve donated, that’s that. The only “fighting” that may occur is amongst teams for who can raise the most money. Sailing Club were the inaugural winners, and I’m told they’re determined to stay on top. Teams aren’t required, either, but several organizations on campus have them set up. You can also start your own, too, and it doesn’t have to be through your club(s). Friends, residence halls, athletic teams, etc; anything goes!
Instead, Dance Marathon is a great way to come together as a community to raise money for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, the only place for children to get world-class care in Maine. Three kids from the hospital and their families will be celebrating with us this year, and along the way, they’ll share their stories about how the hospital saved their lives. Last year, with 250 students registered (Which you can do at the door, FYI!), we raised $19,500 for the hospital. By donating and/or registering, we get to directly help children receive life-changing care.
The Dance Marathon will take place in Memorial Commons from 4-8 PM on Saturday, March 14th. Remember, 4 is the Opening Ceremonies, so try and get their early for special rewards. To register as a fundraiser as either an individual or part of a team, sign up at https://events.dancemarathon.com/event/Bates2020, and follow @batesdancemarathon on Instagram for fundraising tips and tricks! In addition to participants, the event also needs volunteers. Reach out to Emily Bass at [email protected] if you’re interested.