Drexel Dance Marathon, a student organization benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), had a successful Spirit Week beginning last Sunday, which culminated in a fundraising total of over $11,000 for children and their families.
High school friends and third-year students Abbey Haas and Lin Choi started Drexel Dance Marathon because they were a part of their high school’s Mini-THON event, an off-shoot of Penn State’s THON, both of which benefit the Four Diamonds Fund of Penn State’s Children’s Hospital.
“For being completely virtual, and a first-year organization, I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of our team,” Haas said.
Throughout the week, DDM hosted daily activities like “Miracle Monday,”, sharing stories of children who have received care at CHOP; a “Wellness Wednesday” virtual yoga session;, and the “Fun Run 5k” on Friday, complete with a suggested route and directions, all leading up to the final celebration and fundraising effort on Saturday where executive board members completed “dares” via suggestions on Instagram.
Haas currently serves as Director, and Choi as Internal Director of DDM. The pair have been working to get DDM recognized as a student organization since their freshman year, and it was conferred during spring last year.
“We wanted to bring something to Drexel that would be inclusive to students of all interests and backgrounds while benefiting our surrounding community (CHOP) and creating strong relationships, all for the kids,” Haas said.
Usually dance marathons are completed in a single day, where groups of volunteers dance for an extended period of time, sometimes as long as 24 hours to raise money for a particular cause.
“Having a full week to celebrate in a virtual setting was definitely easier than cramming everything into one day, as we know people’s schedules are all very different right now,” Haas said.
Planning Spirit Week was a month-long coordination from various teams within DDM, including a concerted effort to market the events on social media, as it played a large part in virtual fundraising.
Ultimately, Choi and Haas finally had the opportunity to give back to a place they are personally connected to, CHOP, while initiating the dance marathon movement on Drexel’s campus.
DDM is currently taking applications for their executive board. The link to the application is located on their Instagram page, @drexeldancemarathon.