Wilkes Students Raise Money for Local Kids
Wilkes University is hosting their 2nd Annual Dance Marathon to raise money and awareness for Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. Students and community members can participate in the event, which will be on March 26 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the McHale Athletic Center.
A group of dedicated students are organizing the event. In addition to music and dancing, they’ll also have games, dodgeball and volleyball tournaments, crafts, yoga and other fun activities. Participants are encouraged to stay for the whole six hours to show their commitment to Dance Marathon’s motto, “Kids Can’t Wait.”
This will be the first time that Wilkes will host an in-person Dance Marathon. Due to COVID, the 2021 fundraiser included smaller, limited capacity events and virtual programs over the course of two weeks. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, students still raised over $4,000 for Janet Weis.
“For being online and having it be our first year, it was pretty successful,” said Maddy Kinard, a junior at Wilkes and internal director of Dance Marathon.
The students hope to meet—if not exceed—the donations from last year.
“I think it was impressive in and of itself that we hit $4,000 in a COVID year when businesses didn’t have a lot of money to give,” said junior Ariel Reed, Dance Marathon’s finance director. “Definitely having that freedom and flexibility to expand upon what we built last year is one of our main goals.”
The event at Wilkes is one of over 400 Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon programs nationwide.
“All of the money stays local, and we also have local Miracle Kids. They’re children from this area that are part of the Children’s Miracle Network,” explained senior Cassidy Taylor, external director of Dance Marathon. “All of the funds that we raise on campus get to go to our local Geisinger and those kids that are from our area. I think that hits home.”
Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville treats more than 150,000 children every year. They provide crucial treatment to sick and injured children in NEPA and Central Pennsylvania.
“It really meant something to me to contribute to a cause greater than myself,” said Reed. “I realized I’m a healthy person. I’ve had all these experiences throughout my life. Some kids don’t have that opportunity. Being able to use my God-given talents and gifts to create something and create happy endings for people who don’t have that possibility is the main reason that I got involved.”