The Fifth Annual Walsh University Dance Marathon (WUDM) brought dancing for a good cause to the Cecchini Center on Saturday, April 14. With close to 80 registered participants, the daylong event raised a record $26,115 for Akron Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, surpassing this year’s fundraising goal by over $1,000 and last year’s total by $6,000.
“Seeing the $26,115 show up on the final reveal boards was honestly unreal,” said senior Psychology Community Clinical and Executive Director of Dance Marathon Autumn Crawford. “I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride in my board and the dancers because we worked persistently to reach, and exceed, our goal. I have never been so proud to be a Walsh student than in that moment.”
Throughout the event, the morale team put on activities to keep the dancers excited and engaged including, minute to win it games, relay races, karaoke, a corn hole tournament and other forms of color war games between the different teams. Exciting music was played throughout the event to keep up spirits and the team organized a morale dance that was taught throughout the day and performed in its entirety when the total amount raised was revealed.
The event included several guests who came to visit the dancers. The Kent State University acapella group the “Kent Clarks” performed for the dancers and nine families and their miracle children who have been treated at Akron Children’s Hospital came to share their stories and encourage students, reminding them why they were dancing.
“Dance Marathon has changed me for the good. I have developed a passion for child health and giving back to the community,” said Jenna Kronenberger, senior Biology Pre-Physical Therapy student and External Director of Dance Marathon. “I have also grown in my love for life because of this event. I have watched our miracle children grow up in the last four years. They have been to the hospital and have had more surgeries, chemotherapy, physical therapy, and scans in their short lives than most do in their entire lives. They have been through so much, yet they are still always smiling and willing to have fun. They still love life. It makes you step back and evaluate your own life and really appreciate the blessings that you have been given.”
The money raised from Dance Marathon goes to Akron Children’s Hospitals to support children and their families in treatment.