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The event will take place on March 6. The event will take place on March 6.

Aztecs Get Footloose for Philanthropy

Students, faculty and members of the community will be dancing for 12 hours straight to raise money for Rady Children’s Hospital at the Aztec Dance Marathon.
By Chelsea Baer

The San Diego State University community will dance the night away to raise awareness and funds for Rady Children’s Hospital at the Aztec Dance Marathon on March 6. Participants will gather at the Aztec Recreation Center at 8 p.m. for a non-traditional philanthropic event with themed hours, wardrobe changes and performances.

“The reason this is such an incredible cause is because all of the proceeds go to Rady Children’s Hospital,” said Dance Marathon Internal Director Kevin Hancock. “A lot of their programs depend on philanthropic donations and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Attendees will get footloose while enjoying games, food and prizes. Families of local children who have been treated at Rady Children’s Hospital will share their stories with the audience. Each team will be paired with a family to get to know for the night and stay connected with in the future. 

Campus Collaboration

Dance Marathon Executive Director Emily Carper got the idea from her friend who held a dance marathon at University of California, Los Angeles.

“It was a very successful event there and it is such a great cause that I wanted to bring it here,” Carper said.

Carper inquired with the Office of Student Life and Leadership and they connected her with Edwin Darrell, associate director of residential education for the Office of Housing Administration, who has participated in two other dance marathons at DePaul University and Michigan State University.

“She is the perfect leader, she has raised 10 percent of the total funds and is setting the bar high for others,” Darrell said of Carper.

An event of this size usually takes around a year to plan, but Carper and her diverse team of student leaders were determined to make it happen as soon as possible. Planning for the event began in late November and has been met with positive support across campus.

“In just a few short months, Dance Marathon has completely transformed my experience as a college student,” Carper said. “Upon learning about Rady Children’s Hospital and the incredible care they provide, it was a no-brainer to collaborate with my peers and create not only an amazing and memorable event for the students at SDSU, but to truly impact the lives of kids in our community.”

Hancock referred to the cohesion and coordination of the group as “natural” saying, “It’s such a special group of people, this has probably been the best board I’ve ever been a part of.”

Join the fun

Those interested in attending can visit the registration page and pay a $12 fee, which includes two meals, two snacks and a t-shirt. Dancers can sign up individually or join a team. Many SDSU student organizations have already started teams.

Those with two left feet may prefer to sign up for a volunteer position. The volunteer fee is $10 and covers the cost of a volunteer shirt. Volunteers will be assisting with registration, serving food to dancers and security.

“This is a worthwhile cause for a variety of reasons,” Darrell said. “One reason is partnering with Rady Children’s Hospital builds community with student groups that don’t usually work together.”

Support for this cause has been steadily gaining momentum. There are already close to 230 dancers signed up and more than $11,000 raised. These numbers continue to grow, bringing the organization closer to their goal of 250 dancers $45,000.

"We are standing for 12 hours for the kids who can't," Darrell said.

Find out more

The next informational session about the event will be held at 8p.m. on Feb. 16 in Templo Mayor in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

Those interested in learning more are encouraged to “like” the Aztec Dance Marathon page on Facebook, follow on Twitter and participate using the #forthekids or #FTK hashtags.