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Exec Letter: Gabe Gravert

UNI Dance Marathon is a relatively new program. The oldest Dance Marathon was held at Indiana University Dance Marathon (IUDM) in 1991. That university just had their 26th Big Event raising over 4 million dollars. So if we were to compare ourselves to IUDM we are a very young program, but our fundraising and involvement numbers do not show that. Why? How is UNI Dance Marathon competing with schools twice its size? Although I haven’t been involved with UNI DM from the start, I think I know a few reasons for our success.

1. Dedication of past Executive Boards

I look back and see all that the past Executive Boards have accomplished and know that they started from basically scratch which amazes me. Most of what we do now has been done from DM’s inception. Additional elements have been employed to to improve efficiency and productivity, but our core procedures remain the same. To past exec boards, your passion and dedication is appreciated and noticed. Thank you!

2. All-Committee Members competent and relentless efforts

UNI Dance Marathon’s committee members are what keep the engine churning. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to produce all the amazing events, campaigns, and partnerships that we establish. Our committee members do not attract much recognition; they are the people that have decided that they selflessly help our organization even though recognition is rare. That is inspiring. My personal committee (Day Of) has planned and enacted activities for the Big Event and I cannot wait until the hard work pays off on March 4th. I said this before and I’ll say this again, our All-Committee Members are the unsung heroes of UNI Dance Marathon, so Thank You.

3. Annoying Morale Captains

Before all the Morale Captains get offended by this statement take a step back and think about all 40 of you. I can say this because I was also a morale captain and I was annoying, but in a good way. Our Morale Captains from the start have been the most outgoing and passionate members of our cause. They are unapologetic when recruiting members and spreading the Dance Marathon word. Even though these crazy people give me headaches sometimes, thank you Morale Captains!

4. Our Donors

While helping kids is the purpose money is the fuel that achieves the purpose. It is the center point of most of what we do. We are always concerned and focused on gaining support and the need never seems to diminish. Our donors have decided that they are determined to make a difference with their hard-earned money and their charitable hearts. The monetary sacrifices are so appreciated. They give and give and give, it is amazing their generosity seems to grow each year and the support for DM fills so many needs. Without the life blood provided by the donors, there would be no living Dance Marathon. I can’t thank our donors enough, but I will try to do my best. So thank you donors!

5. Our Dancers

Our dancers are incredible. Not only do they give up their Saturday to come to our event. They STAND for the whole day! That is exhausting! Like extremely exhausting! Did I mention that it was hard? They have decided that they are a generation fighting for the next. They will fight through the discomfort of standing for 12 hours without caffeine or sugar as well as fundraising throughout the whole year for a cause that most likely didn’t affect them. Our Dancers may not be able to dance that well, but in my eyes, they are the best dancers around because they dance for another’s life. Thank you Dancers!

6. Our Miracle Families and Kiddos

Although I wish we had zero Miracle Kiddos and families, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in their lives. They are continuously sharing their story to anyone who will listen. I can’t put into words the impact those stories have had on me and so many people I know. They have inspired me to live a better life because I am lucky enough to be alive without worry of what will happen next because of a diagnosis. The courage that our kiddos show is unimaginable. Childhood cancer and illnesses are hard to talk about, because no one wants to talk about a seven year old enduring chemo or facing a terminal illness. Yet, these families that have experienced the unthinkable know that to enact change they must talk about it. Resolutely, they share the stories, and motivate the UNI Dance Marathon to greater height each year. I may have listed the Miracle Kiddos and families last, but you can bet they are the BIGGEST reason why UNI Dance Marathon is a top-notch program.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for UNI Dance Marathon to make us successful and all that you will do in the future.

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