By: Matt Rothman
The actual Dance Marathon may only last a day, but Marjory Stoneman Douglas students have spent countless hours fundraising. In their second annual Dance Marathon benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network, students surpassed last year’s total raising $100,248.17 – nearly $35,000 more than their first year.
Dance Marathon is a movement involving college and high school students at more than 300 schools across North America, all raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in their community.
Providing resources to Miami’s Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Tirzha Herman, finance director of Dance Marathon at FSU said funds raised provides the kids with a sense of security and also reminds families that even though their situation is not normal, we are here to help support you.”
Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky, who attended the Dance Marathon said it was great to see Marjory Stoneman Douglas students working hard and having fun all while raising money for a great cause.
“They are a wonderful group and continue to make a difference in the lives of others,” she said.
Last year, due to the school shooting, the event was nearly canceled. Instead the start date was pushed back to April. This year, hundreds of students, along with 10-12 students from FSU came out to support the Children’s Miracle Network on Saturday afternoon.
The slogan for the event was “Rise Up”, and one of the main goals this year according MSD student Drew Schwartz is “to help pay for children’s toys during a hospital visit or get a comfier pillow. It really means a lot to them and goes a long way,” he said.
Throughout the seven-hour marathon, students from Coral Springs and Parkland danced, as well as watched videos of children who were being treated. Florida State students performed their own dance as MSD students watched on. There were also food, games and silent discos – where music is transmitted on to wireless headphones.
The best was saved for last when the big announcement was held at the end letting students know that they raised over $100,000.
“Too see a turnout like this gives me so much hope,” Herman said. “Everyone has said “MSD Strong” and this event has truly shown, not only last year, but this community is as strong as a wall. They are impenetrable and they are going to keep fighting.”