One Month

One month. That’s all the time left until over 700 students gather in Maucker Union on February 29th to stand on their feet for 12 hours with a common goal: ending childhood illness. How do we plan to accomplish this? Not through dancing, although there will be plenty of that, but through philanthropy. We have a goal to raise $700,000 for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital’s pediatric neurology unit, and just over a month to do so. The best part is that everything raised this year will be MATCHED dollar for dollar by a generous donor.

If that isn’t enough in itself to get you excited for the Big Event, I’ll sure try to accomplish that by the time you’re done reading this! If you’re a returner, I hope you are as excited, nervous, and ready as I am for February 29th to be here. If you’re a new dancer, you probably have no idea what you’re in for other than a lot of fun, but I hope you are ready to experience the best day that will absolutely change your life.

I remember my first Big Event vividly. I had no idea what I was actually getting myself into other than a long, fun event that results in some money raised for a good cause. But here I still am 4 years later, 3 of which have been spent serving on the leadership team. If this will be your first Big Event, I encourage you to do everything at least once, listen to every family story, attend your team family meet up time and don’t miss hair cutting hour! A particular family story and hair cutting hour is what made me want to do more, but the mission and the people involved are what keep me coming back. I’ve definitely had my most impactful moments and have met some of my best, lifelong friends in college through this organization.

So why should we be excited? Well, starting the day off with the run in really sets the hype tone for the day; it’s one of my favorite parts! All of us in one room welcoming all of our strong miracle kiddos and their families is such a fun moment, but really the whole day is filled with fun moments. Then heading into the coffeehouse to learn the morale song right after, which we then do all together every hour on the hour? WITH a family story? Amazing. Being able to hear their testimonies with the hospital and why our organization is so beneficial to them is truly an experience that touches your heart.

In the next 34 days, I encourage you to reach out to as many people as you can to raise as much as you can. Knowing how scary it can be to ask people for donations, I promise when it turns midnight on the day of the Big Event, and you’re sitting there waiting for the ‘FOR THE KIDS’ letters to be raised and reveal what our total is, your hard effort and worries will all be worth it. Don’t give up, don’t stop pushing, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone on leadership for help if you need it! We are all here to help YOU.

This is my last Big Event as a college student and as knowing the total all year long. It is so bittersweet, and I’m definitely feeling all the emotions. I know there are many who will attend the event this year for the first time and get that motivation to do more; if there is one thing I would change with my time with Dance Marathon, it would be to do more during my freshman year: fundraise earlier, fundraise more, go to more events. So that’s what I encourage you to do! There is one month until the Big Event. What are you going to do between now and February 29th to help us reach $700,000 and capitalize on the best event of the year? The power of you is truly more than you will realize. So, let’s get fundraising. Let’s get excited. Let’s cure epilepsy.

Always FTK,

Breanne Kopera

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