Dance marathon raises money for local children’s hospital

Marshall University students raised over $10,000 for Hoops Family Children’s Hospital Saturday by participating in the fourth annual Dance Thunder, a 12-hour dance marathon which left participants physically and emotionally exhausted, a coordinator of the event said.

We’re really going to be kind of in the shoes of these kids, medically and metaphorically, because they have to go through all this pain,” said Sabel Meadows, a senior biology major and student coordinator of the event. “We kind of got an internal reflection moment as a whole because our feet were starting to really, really hurt, and it was getting unbearable.”

Despite their exhaustion, Meadows said she was happy with the result because the proceeds will be donated to the local children’s hospital to help improve the quality of life for pediatric patients.

Those proceeds, Meadows said, could be used to help cover medical care costs or to provide video game systems in the pediatric rooms or lights which create a soothing effect for children.

“After standing and dancing for 12 hours straight, there was still a smile on every participant and volunteer’s face at the end of the night,” said Jess Kimble, a senior criminal justice major and student co-coordinator.

Kimble said she was grateful to participate in Dance Thunder because the event is near and dear to her heart.

In middle school, Kimble said her young cousin was internally bleeding and was life lifted to a children’s hospital hours away.

Thanks to donors, Kimble said her family was able to stay in the hospital’s family suite and leave with few financial burdens.

“She is now healthy and well, and I am dedicating my time to help children like her,” Kimble said.

With 50 Greek Life dancers and 40 volunteers, Meadows said “it was a pretty great evening” and was even better when one non-Greek student participated.

“He came to just participate to just be here for the kids,” Meadows said. “It was exciting to see the Greek community wrap around him.”

Kimble said watching people create new friendships and share their stories was “a heartwarming experience.”

With four months of planning, four committees and help fromWill Holland, Marshall’s director of community outreach and volunteer services, and Dakota Maddox, Marshall’s director of student activities, Meadows said the team was instrumental in making this event a success.

Dance Thunder is planned for next year, and Kimble said she hopes to continue her mission of helping children by serving as the student coordinator.

Paige Leonard can be contacted at [email protected]