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Dancers double donations at HuskyTHON, all 'for the kids'

By Jamie Dinar
On February 19, 2012

  • Students dance during HuskyTHON, a yearly fundraiser to benefit the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Charitable students must raise funds by dancing for 18 hours straight without sitting; this year’s total nearly doubled last year’s with over $300,000 raised. Jess Condon/The Daily Campus

This year, HuskyTHON, an annual 18-hour dance marathon held by UConn to benefit the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, managed to raise $304,375.24, almost doubling 2011's donation of $188,558.51.

Excluding the HuskyTHON 2012 Management Team, who raised $21,941.74, the sorority Delta Zeta donated the highest amount, raising $21,199.39. The sorority Delta Gamma followed by raising $17,721.47.

This event is not exclusive to Greek life. Teams could be formed by any organization, such as sports teams or learning communities, or could even be formed by a group of friends.

In total, there were 1,156 dancers who committed their time, 6 p.m. on Saturday to Sunday at noon, to constantly stay on their feet. In addition to this, there were 155 moral captains, who kept enthusiasm high throughout the night, and 25 management team members who helped organize the marathon.

Staying on your feet for 18 hours straight, with absolutely no sitting, may seem easier said than done. With help from 291 student volunteers who did not have to stay the full eighteen hours, a great staff and free food from such sponsors as Wendy's, Wally's Chicken Coop and DP Dough, the night was a success.

Along with help from nine alumni, students were able to raise the money needed to help support kids who could not represent and dance themselves.

"I am so happy my team [the Global House] was able to raise so much money," said Becky Pritchard, a 4th-semester biology major. "It's so sad to see these kids that had to struggle with something as serious as battling cancer at such a young age. I just hope we can help others in similar situations."

Children ranging from the ages of 5-15 were present, all who were survivors of cancer or other serious conditions, and were assigned a team. The team played with their new friend, showing them that there will always be thousands of others who want to help them, and that others who suffer from disease live a normal, sickness-free life.

"Seeing the kids and hearing their stories is the hardest part of the night," said Rachel Nickse, a 4th-semester undecided business major. "It's hard staying awake and on your feet for 18 hours, your feet really hurt. But in the end it's worth it when you see how you made how your effort made each kid's day."

Many are not aware of the efforts HuskyTHON makes to help CCMC. With this year's donation increase, UConn is now one of the top 10 dance marathons in the country, and is also now the number 2 donor to CCMC.

A three-year-old girl personally told the entire audience in the last hour of HuskyTHON that was born with only half a heart, and donations made to CCMC by groups and events like this helped save her life. After three heart operations, she was able to live and tell her story to those who helped save her life.


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