Annual 13-hour dance marathon fundraises for Duke Children’s Hospital
When members of the Elon University campus community walked into Alumni Gym on Saturday, they found a fully packed room of students joined together to accomplish their goals: change kids’ health and change the future.
Elonthon, a roughly 13-hour dance marathon, fundraised money for local children’s hospital, Duke Children’s in Durham. Members of the event — sororities and fraternities, as well as the Elonthon community and their leadership staff — fundraised $114,284.23 from the fall semester until now.
Elonthon serves as the university’s largest student-run campus program, as well as the largest philanthropic event on campus. As an organization, Elonthon directly supports eight Duke Children’s patients — six of which attended this year’s event in person. Each color team—organizations were broken into colors to represent teams— has two more children they partner with at the event. During the event, they shared their stories about their time at the hospital and how donating supports the children entering the hospital each day.
Sadie McCullough, Elon senior and vice president of membership for Elonthon, was in charge of recruitment and said the event came together nicely.
“We did a lot to prepare — we’re feeling good that everyone came together and is having a great time,” McCollough said. “We have over 700 participants, which was our goal.”
Freshman Dane Wetzel, a member of Zeta Beta Tau’s team, said his fraternity’s philanthropy directly supports the patients and their families.
“It’s going to be a great event for the entire day,” Wetzel said. “My team and I are here for the full 13.1 hours, and we’re all really excited to raise money for a great cause.”
His team spent the entire day with their blue team miracle child Connor, a patient at Duke Children’s, who shared his cancer story on stage while his team cheered him on in support.
The event would not be complete without the Morale dance, which participants learned throughout the day. Choreographed by the Director of Morale, Hailey Ralston, the dance is made up of three parts. During times throughout the day, Ralston taught each part. At the end, everyone performed the dance together as one cohesive unit.
The dance was a medley of popular songs such as Girls Like You by Maroon 5, Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys and Gimme More by Britney Spears.
At the end of the night, participants gathered in front of the stage and waited in anticipation to know the total fundraising number. One by one, each executive board member held up a number, revealing $114,284.23. Cheers rang throughout the room, signaling that another year of miracles was complete.