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Summer Fundraising with Jenna

8 weeks left of summer! Have you done any summer fundraising yet? UNI DM wants to encourage dancers to fundraise during the summer, even without a donor drive, by collecting cash or checks made out to UNI Dance Marathon. #SunsOutFundsOutFTK

Looking for some tips and tricks on summer fundraising? Stay tuned for our summer blogs, giving dancer advice and highlighting unique fundraising ideas.

This week, let’s hear from Jenna! Jenna Willer has been involved with UNI’s Dance Marathon for four years. Her first two years she was a Morale Captain and her junior year the Assistant Director of Campus Relations. She is finishing her final year as the Director of Event Planning. With her current position in UNI DM, Jenna will create and plan events all year long that involve fundraising and getting dancers involved. Some of the events Jenna is in charge of are the FT5K run, the Orange Party, the Black Tie Affair, and also event fundraising on the day of the Big Event.

Jenna explained her involvement in Dance Marathon and ‘why’ she dances. “From the moment I first saw the morale dance at an information session my freshmen year, I was hooked. I absolutely love anything to do with kids. I think kids are our future and are the most precious and innocent human beings on this earth.” Jenna has always brought a special drive to UNI Dance Marathon, her passion for the kids is reflected in everything she does. “We are their voice and advocates. They need to be given the chance to grow up and chase their dreams and I believe Dance Marathon has given millions of kids the chance to chase the dreams they aspire to achieve.”

Jenna has big plans for her summer fundraising and the upcoming year. This summer, Jenna has a goal to raise $400 to represent her four years of involvement with UNI Dance Marathon. She has been working on collecting cans from friends and family and also plans to hold summer swim lessons as a way to collect donations. Jenna’s advice for dancers looking to fundraise this summer is to “be open to new ideas and find that niche that you love and connect with DM!” Jenna believes channeling your passion into something for the kids can go a long way, especially if you are already starting in the summer.

Jenna mentioned getting creative and taking advantage of the hobbies and skills you have. “Love taking pictures? Offer a photo shoot for a donation. Love being around kids? Offer a night of babysitting for a donation. Are you super crafty? Auction off a piece of your art on Facebook.” Jenna believes finding something you love to do such as babysitting, making a craft, or doing yard work will help to make a huge difference. Every little thing counts and will all be worth it when we reveal the final amount at the Big Event.

When asked why summer fundraising is important, Jenna replied, “The kids do not get to pick when they get to be tough and fight their illness or injury.'' Jenna explained how the kiddos are fighting 24/7, so why should we only fundraise for a couple of months a year? “By fundraising and raising awareness during the summer, we are showing the kids and their families we do not forget about them over the summer. It shows we are standing with them and recognizing the battle they face every day.”

Jenna has a heart that radiates love and excitement for Dance Marathon and her passion for the kids is inspiring and contagious. Thanks for your dedication to UNI’s Dance Marathon Jenna, and good luck on your fourth year of living for the kids! #SunsOutFundsOutFTK

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