Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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The Aztec Dance Marathon will take place Feb. 24-25 at Montezuma Hall in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. (Credit: Aztec Dance Marathon) The Aztec Dance Marathon will take place Feb. 24-25 at Montezuma Hall in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. (Credit: Aztec Dance Marathon)
 


Aztecs Prove Miracles Happen

Aztec Dance Marathon raised $25,000 in its Miracle Week to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital.
By Jayla Lee
 

San Diego State University’s Aztec Dance Marathon (ADM) is not just another reason to boogie down – it is an opportunity to “dance for the kids who can’t.”

The 15-hour overnight event has evolved into a year-round student organization that works to raise money and awareness for patients battling life-threatening illnesses and injuries at Rady Children’s Hospital. It joins a national movement of 250 schools giving back to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN).

ADM’s latest efforts brought its first-ever “Miracle Week” to campus last month. The organization was able to obtain 1,200 dance registrations and raise $25,000 - far surpassing the team’s goal of $5,000. Donations were collected through dancer registrations and the fundraising efforts of individual dancers.

ADM executive director Kendall McCreary says she shed a few tears as the team tallied its numbers – knowing first-hand the benefits of a CMN Hospital.

“As a former patient, it is a cause so close to my heart because I remember being in the hospital bed and what a difference being in a CMN Hospital made to my overall recovery,” McCreary said. “CMN Hospitals will not turn away patients on their inability to pay, and because of this (they) rely so much on donations. Donations also bring in new technology, toys, decorations, and amenities that help keep the kids and their parents in good spirits throughout their treatment.”

ADM started in fall 2014 and raised $40,314 in its first semester. This fall, ADM has raised $84,140.

“It (the fundraiser) speaks to a wide variety of students on campus, and has brought individuals of all disciplines together for its cause. At the dance marathon, you get to hear how it has changed the lives of patients at Rady Children’s Hospital as well as the students here, and that is what inspires me to be a part of it,” said Nicole Atkins, member of the ADM recruitment committee.

The dance marathon is a culminating celebration of the year’s fundraising efforts, happening 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Feb. 24-25 at Montezuma Hall in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. The celebration includes an all-nighter of dancing, games, food and prizes. Students will also meet and hear the stories of patients from Rady Children’s Hospital.

“I have been so lucky to meet quite a few patients from Rady, and the biggest thing I notice is how happy the children are,” McCreary said. "These children are going through trials that most adults will never even experience, and they keep this incredibly positive and grateful attitude. They are the happiest and most grateful children I have ever met. They remind me that no matter what life hands you, it is so important to keep fighting and stay positive because things will get better.”

For more information, visit the ADM registration page and Rady Children’s Hospital website.