First Dance Marathon supports local hospital

Emily Ryan, Staff Writer

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council hosted the first annual Dance Marathon on Nov. 15 to benefit the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital at Geisinger Medical Center, raising $14,062 for the hospital which surpassed the fundraising goal of $10,000. The event began at 7 p.m. and concluded at 1 a.m.

Panhellenic President Erica Shartle ’15, and IFC President J.T. Engels ’15 worked with their respective councils to plan and organize the event, which served as the major philanthropy event of the year for both councils.

“We wanted this event to have a local impact, so we searched for different organizations in the surrounding area. When we came across the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, we thought it would be perfect. The hospital is located in Danville, Pa. and offers a full range of specialized care, including neurology, cancer, infectious disease, cardiovascular, and other departments. The hospital has helped many miracle children overcome life-threatening diseases so we thought it would be great to support them in any way we could,” Engels said.

In total, 609 people registered for the event in teams, including Greek organizations, athletic teams, first-year halls, and orientation staff.

“Before the event, we encouraged all participants to fundraise a minimum of $25 per person,” Shartle said.

The Dance Marathon began with an opening ceremony, including remarks from University alumna Carol Tevis ’85, the director of the hospital. Two families whose children had received treatment at the hospital also spoke, followed by a balloon drop that concluded the opening ceremony.

Music was played from 7:30 p.m.-10p.m., and included a performance by the Bison Girls dance team, as well as a Zumba lesson. The dancing continued from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. with music from DJs Ben Garner ’15, Elias Strizower ’17, and Ian Hackett ’15  (DJ Blazin Asian). The PA Entertainment Group provided lights and sound equipment for the event.

“This is the first year that Panhel and IFC have done the Dance Marathon,” Shartle said. “Although every chapter has their own philanthropy events throughout the year, we wanted something that the entire community could come together to create.”

Engels stated that the event would not have been possible without the support of Glenn Skinner, Barbara Perlman, Mary Keblon, Dean Badal, and Dean Lantz, among others. Both councils are excited about the possibility of the Dance Marathon becoming an annual event.

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