“Dancing for those who can’t”

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(Left to right) Maggie Getzin, Laurel Hubster, Kennedy Day, Sarah Monesmith, and Annie Brake smile for a picture with Mr. Uebelhor who was taped to the wall for one of their many fundraisers. Photo by Emily Huddleston

Jasper High School has hosted Riley’s Dance Marathon for the past three years. The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, March 16 in the auxiliary gym. Admission is free and open to all students, but a donation of $10 is encouraged. Riley’s Dance Marathon was originally held in 1991 to honor Ryan White, an advocate for AIDS. The Marathon eventually evolved to raise funds for the families who use services at Riley Children’s Hospital.

The Popp family were one of two families who spoke about their experience with Riley Children’s Hospital. The Popp’s son, Luke, nervously looked up to his parents as they spoke about his treatment process.

This years goal is $15,000, the largest goal in the history of the Riley’s Dance Marathon at JHS. “We wanted to set a goal that is higher than we’ve ever done before.  We have one of the fastest growing high school dance marathons in the state (we almost tripled the amount we raised in our first year our second year).  If everyone helps and pitches in even a small donation, we can reach our goal,” said Sarah Monesmith, a senior and of the marathon committee. To reach their goal, the committee consisting of JHS students of all

grades has hosted several different fundraisers. Some of the smaller fundraisers were: bake sales, puppy chow sale, “tape a teacher to the wall,” basketball game collections, door-to-door collections, and a shirt sale.

This year the Dance Marathon committee also hosted a Will Read and Sing event with Scott Saalman. Will Read and Sing was created by Saalman to raise awareness for community needs, but he decided to partner with the Dance Marathon because Riley is a part of many Jasper residents. 

“[Will Read and Sing] is an awesome way to reach out into the community to spread awareness for our cause and to raise money.  So many families in the community have utilized the services at Riley Hospital for Children, so the event was a great way for our community to share touching stories and give back to such a great place,” said Monesmith. At the event several different performers sang and read short stories. The last two speakers were the Popp and Dills families who both have experience with Riley Children’s Hospital.

“Dance marathon is so much more than a school dance,” said Monesmith. To start off the marathon attendees learn a line dance, play games, have tournaments and competitions, win awesome prizes donated by sponsors, and listen to families share their experiences with Riley. Concessions will also be provided for the dancers. At the end of the Marathon the committee will reveal the final total raised. Each hour of the dance marathon has a different theme. The five themes are:

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