November 23, 2009
Rollins’ Third Annual Dance Marathon culminated with the 12-hour marathon on Saturday, November 14. More than 60 dancers kept moving from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m. and raised nearly $10,000 for Children’s Miracle Network.
“Philanthropic support is needed now more than ever to take care of our local children. We were delighted to have once again partnered with Rollins College,” said Amy Moyer, development specialist with the Greater Orlando Children’s Miracle Network. “With the help of the two Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in central Florida and Rollins College, children of all ages and backgrounds will receive treatment for every imaginable disease and injury—from asthma and broken bones to cancer and heart defects, along with research, education and outreach programs that keep millions of kids out of the hospital each year.”
Miracle families visited the dancers throughout the day to share their stories. It kept the students motivated and put a face on the charity for which they were working. Restaurants and organizations including Panda Express, Tolla’s, IHOP, Planet Smoothie and Sodexho donated food and prizes. A Silent Auction, which featured a variety of prizes including flights from AirTran, SeaWorld passes and stays at the Bohemian, Marriott and Walt Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort, raised nearly $2,000. Students from Winter Park High School conducted their own fundraising efforts for Rollins’ Dance Marathon and held “Olympic” games on the lawn for the Rollins’ dancers.
Prizes were awarded for top fundraisers and “spirit” points were earned. Top winners were:
“We were excited to see students from Arts & Sciences, Crummer and Rollins’ Evening Program participating this year,” said Megan Lanier, director of Rollins’ 2009 Dance Marathon. “This truly was an event that brought the Rollins community together."
Now in its third year, Dance Marathon is the largest and most successful student-run philanthropy at Rollins College. In 2007, the inaugural event nearly doubled its fund raising goal and raised more than $35,000 for Children's Miracle Network. That year, Rollins' Dance Marathon was named the "Best New Dance Marathon" out of 17 launched nationally and was recognized as the most successful first-year dance marathon ever produced in the event's 13-year history. Each fall, a variety of events are held to support the effort culminating with the 12-hour marathon. To date, Rollins' Dance Marathon has raised nearly $80,000 and every penny raised goes directly to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando and the Shand’s Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida.
"It is empowering to watch our students come together in support of philanthropy in our community,” said Rollins’ Director of Community Engagement Micki Meyer. “The Children's Miracle Network does a great job of educating our students about the key issues facing children and health in Central Florida. This education, coupled with students' active participation in fundraising and advocacy efforts, is a model for successful campus-community partnerships in learning."
Fundraising continues until December 31. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your donation made payable to the Children’s Miracle Network interoffice to the Office of Community Engagement, Box 2789.
Meet Mary Neville: Top Individual Spirit Award Winner
From Greek Life to Residence Halls to student organizations, teams participated in fundraising and spirit competitions for Rollins’ 2009 Dance Marathon. Mary Neville (Class of 2013) participated for the first time spearheading the McKean Residence Hall team. Neville won the Top Individual Spirit Award and McKean Residence Hall won the event’s Miracle Cup, an award based on the number of participating dancers, fund-raising initiatives, and overall spirit.
Neville said her involvement began unexpectedly when she met an enthusiastic student in the McKean Hall lobby who convinced her to run for the building’s Dance Marathon chair position. After that, she met another especially energetic student at the first meeting. From there, her own inspiration continued to grow as she bonded with even more veteran Dance Marathon students and learned more about the Children’s Miracle Network.
“When my team and I walked into the Cornell Campus Center that day, none of us were there expecting to win. We were there to support the kids and show our dedication by standing for 12 hours,” said Neville. “It was amazing because we got to meet the Miracle kids and write their names on our wristbands. It made all the months of planning worthwhile.”
McKean Residence Hall raised $1,100 through an e-mail campaign, $90 from a cookie sale, and $450 from a silent auction, as well as winning trivia contests and other games throughout the night to earn spirit points and ultimately earn the coveted Miracle Cup.
Neville plans to participate again next year regardless of which residence hall she lives in and hopes that whoever takes over the position as chair for the first-year McKean Hall will take even more initiative to get other students involved.
—Kristin Schendel (Class of 2010) contributed to this story