Concordia has many student organizations on campus, but what makes Dance Marathon special is their involvement in the Fargo-Moorhead community.
Dance Marathon partners with the Children’s Miracle Network, an international organization that provides funds for care, training and equipment, to raise money for the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo.
Dance Marathon works with an advisor at Sanford. “We are closely tied to Sanford because we have that direct connection with the hospital,” says Katie Dosland ’16, one of this year’s co-chairs of Dance Marathon. Dance Marathon also works with a Children’s Miracle Network advisor and Concordia faculty advisor Dr. Jason Askvig.
Four years ago, Concordia Dance Marathon signed a five-year contract with Sanford in which the group committed to raising $50,000 for Sanford Children’s. To date, student volunteers have raised more than $66,000.
Throughout the year, Dance Marathon holds various events and opportunities to fundraise. Examples of fundraisers this year include hosting a 5K and a kickball tournament, partnering with Pizza Ranch in which part of the profits from one evening were donated to Dance Marathon, and passing around donation buckets at sporting events, which they call Miracle Minutes.
Their biggest event is called CobberTHON, which was held from noon until midnight April 2. Families shared their stories, activities were held for the kids, and various dance sessions were held each hour. Dance Marathon also partnered with CEC to host Battle of the Bands to determine the student opener for Cornstock.
CobberTHON is a way to celebrate all of the hard work that Dance Marathon has done and to reveal the total amount of money raised throughout the year, Dosland says. It is also an opportunity to include the families and kids at Sanford Children’s Hospital who they have met during the year.
The money that Dance Marathon raises goes toward uncompensated care, items to entertain the kids, child life specialists, and anything that will improve kids’ stays at the hospital. The money that is raised will also help fund a team room at Sanford, where doctors and personnel will be able to meet.
“The best part of Dance Marathon is the impact it makes on the kiddos and their families,” Dosland says. “The money we raise goes to give kids a chance at a normal childhood that they may not have had before. At the end of the day, any money we raise goes to help some pretty deserving kids, and what's better than that?”
Grace Bateman '17 is a communication studies major and business minor at Concordia.