Dance Marathon gives proceeds to children’s hospital

Erika Collin

For the past six years, the sisters of the sorority Phi Mu have spent a single day dancing and moving to the beat of a DJ for 12 hours in the middle of the Kirkof Center. However, it’s never been just a fun social event; it has always been for a cause.

Each year, the sorority participates in a dance marathon to raise money for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“All of the kids in the hospital have to go through so much, and for us to stand for 12 hours, it’s nothing,” said Lindsey VanNoord, the philanthropy chair of Phi Mu. “That’s what we tell all of our members to encourage them to keep (dancing).”

This year, Phi Mu is once again hosting a dance marathon, but it will be in a new location. The marathon will be held Nov. 9 at Allendale Middle School. The admission fee is $5, and the event begins at noon. Attendees are encouraged to dance to music played by a DJ for the entirety of the day in order to support children in need.

“We just wanted to include more of the Allendale community,” VanNoord said. “The middle school is a bigger space, so we can have more fun things to do like the bounce house. “

The bounce house isn’t the only addition to this year’s dance marathon. There will be an abundance of activities for attendees to participate in, including a hypnotist, carnival games and a fraternity date auction.

“We want to keep it interesting throughout the 12 hours,” said Elena Ongaro, an event committee member. “We have stuff from face painting to getting your nails done. There is something for everyone.”

Last year, Phi Mu raised a total of $10,000 dollars for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. This year, the sorority is hoping to double that number.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic cause that so many people, not only in our sorority, but that people in the community are really passionate about,” Ongaro said. “The more support the better, because all the money is going locally to Helen DeVos (Children’s Hospital).”

All of the money raised doesn’t come solely from the event. Phi Mu also has a DonorDrive online fundraising account, through which it has already raised around $3,000. The women also collect business donations, hold can drives and do other fundraisers to raise money for the hospital.

“Philanthropy is one of the main things we focus on,” VanNoord said.

Phi Mu is hoping for a large turn out at this year’s Dance Marathon. The sorority has invited other organizations to the event, such as GVSU’s Belly Dancing Club, in order to increase more college student participation. Its goal is to get all types of people from the community involved and, most importantly, help the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“You dance for a day and give hope for a lifetime,” VanNoord said.