By DEREK MANN
Kennesaw State University is gearing up for its seventh annual Dance Marathon on April 18th with hopes of raising over $25,000 for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Dance Marathon is a student operated nationwide philanthropy event at over 250 schools across the country, all raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in their community. Kennesaw State will donate all of the money raised at the event April 18th directly to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Dance Marathon at Kennesaw State has been very successful since the University first adopted the program. In the seven years Kennesaw State has had Dance Marathon, it has raised over $50,000 to give to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
This year’s Dance Marathon at Kennesaw State is looking to go bigger than it has ever before. Whitney Regan is the vice president of communications for Kennesaw’s Dance Marathon.
“We want to raise over $25,000 but I mean we also want to break records so we are aiming for the stars this year,” Regan said.
Kennesaw’s Dance Marathon Board has been doing a lot of smaller things to get ready for this year’s big event.
“This past year we have done percentage nights at restaurants, we had a rave and we have also done PR days out on the campus green,” said Regan. “We also set up popsicle stands on campus to sell and raise money and we also do hospital visits to go and play with the kids at the hospital.”
This years Dance Marathon will be held in the student center April 18. The marathon takes place from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. with various events spread throughout the day.
Hours are divided up throughout the marathon for a variety of different activities. There are meal times, game hours, an hour long rave, auctions, live music performances, and of course dancing.
Children from the hospital along with their families will also be present at the event. As of right now 15 families have already signed up to come and share their life experiences with all of the participants and the Dance Marathon Board hopes to add more families by the event date.
One child that really stands out is a boy named Parker Grelecki. Grelecki has been at the past three Dance Marathon’s at Kennesaw and has been a star at all of them. Grelecki suffers from a skull deformity called craniostenosis and hydrocephalus. This deformity causes excess fluid to reside on the brain, which resulted in malformation of his brain.
However, this deformity does not stop Grelecki from brightening everyone’s day.
“Parker is probably one of the nicest kids and the most out going kids that I have ever met in my entire life,” said Regan. “He’s definitely a walking miracle child.”
However, he is just one of the many inspirational children that will be at the event this year.
Kurt Webster is a recent vice president on the board and avid Dance Marathon attendee.
“I think everyone on campus should be involved with Dance Marathon,” Webster said. “It’s a selfless act and it’s awesome to be a part of because you get way more out of it then you put into it. Getting to see these kids smile and run around and play is life changing.”