The University of Alabama Miracle Network Dance Marathon has recently completed its' campus-wide “GO GOLD” campaign, in the the month of September. September is nationally recognized as childhood cancer awareness month, and is commemorated with a gold ribbon. As well as Going Gold, Dance Marathon also Slid into DM with a giant slide on the Ferguson Center Promenade as well as raised $50K on $100 Day. What a golden month! We could not be prouder of our miracle makers and staff for their dedication and involvement this September. To share some info on Going Gold, we have Ashley Rich: VP of Campus Involvement, Meghan Poljak: Director of PR and Sarah Urbanski: President.
The Vice President of Campus Involvement, Ashley Rich stated, “Going gold means that we are trying to get the entire campus to really embrace the gold ribbon of childhood cancer awareness month by getting registered to be miracle makers and reaching out to family and friends to fundraising for UADM! We are really aiming to get different organizations on campus to participate with us along with highlighting individuals who have already ‘gone gold’ and have started their fundraising with UADM 2017.”
According to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund website, during the month of September:
“25,000 families around the world will get the horrible news that their child or teen has cancer.
6,667 families will experience the loss of a child.”
Much like many organizations who raise funds for cancer research, UADM raises funds for Children’s of Alabama so they can research what causes cancer as well as provide treatments to patients.
Director of Public Relations, Meghan Poljak states, “Going gold is all about childhood cancer awareness. It is about those kids who are suffering every day and how we can acknowledge and support them in all the ways that we can. This month we want to highlight as many people as we can because they are true champions. We are so fortunate to have such love and support from organizations around campus and our advisors."
UADM hoped to provide awareness and raise as many funds as possible during the month of September with events such as $100 day, so that we could allow more miracle makers to register and access their donor drives and be prepared for the event this February.
“UADM Goes Gold is an opportunity for us to raise awareness for what our organization stands for. So many children are treated at Children’s of Alabama every year for cancer, and even a few of our miracle children were treated there for cancer. By going gold, we are showing our support to those kids and we are encouraging the campus to stand with us against pediatric cancer and all pediatric illnesses” said UADM President Sarah Urbanski
Going Gold even highlighted special Miracle Makers on campus doing exceptionally well in meeting their fundraising goals. There was one miracle maker for every day in September. These honorees included: Blake Harrison, Megan Condi, Brianna Dinicola, Hannah Parker, Andrew Schwitzgebel, Cameron Fink, Meghan Gilhooly, Ellora Lalla, Alexis France, Teresa Ziemba, Maddie Leupold, Lauren May, Morgan Frick, Rachel Robinson, Logan Derbes, Emma Dizza, Anne Dillon Loflin, Alexandea Keene, Elizabeth Cusick, Maxwell Martin, Meredith Duncan, Maura Pawlowski, Madison Ballinger, Erin Bilder, Peyton Ballet, Emily Jeris, Miranda Lessner, and Rachel Guiles.
In recognition of Going Gold, UADM had an event called “Slide into DM” in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness, recognition for our event this February and also implementing a registration push. This fun event took place on September 21st and allowed students to be a kid again, much like many events operated by Dance Marathon.
Besides all the other events going on we couldn’t forget to mention the overwhelming success that was $100 Day!!! If you still have not heard about this initiative, DM staff was encouraged to raise $100 dollars each on September 14th in honor of going gold. UADM raised 50,160.58 FTK!
Wow, what an awesome month. Stay tuned for more news from UADM including more staff highlights and updates from Beat Auburn Beat Hunger as well as LSU WEEK!
FTK, and ROLL MIRACLES ROLL!
From backflips, to pies in the face, to performing an avant-garde, one-man production of Hamilton in front of Gorgas Library--- these activities all have one thing in common: they raised money FTK.
Yesterday was $100 Dollar Day, meaning, all staff members for University of Alabama Miracle Network Dance Marathon were encouraged to raise $100 dollars individually, and go all out with whatever creative techniques they wished to use to achieve that goal. If you were a student at UA, you most likely saw some fellow classmates decked out in tutu’s, face paint, or with a jar in hand. Staff members and Miracle Makers work all their fundraising magic and attempt to contribute to this year’s $100 Day cumulative goal of $30,000.
This annual event occurs in the fall and is part of a bigger fundraising/registration push for the month of September. We chose to “Go GOLD in support of childhood cancer awareness month to help spread awareness for UADM as well as allow an all-inclusive environment for all students to feel a part of UADM’s cause—raising money for Children’s of Alabama to help sick kids celebrate another birthday.
This hope is that one day, Miracle children (patients at Children’s of Alabama) can be where we are as college students, pursuing their dreams and have all the same opportunities as we do.
A giant chalkboard set up on the quad yesterday represented UADM’s mantra in many ways, as it said: “Who do you stand for.” Some students wrote beloved family members, some wrote down friends’ names and some wrote down “FTK.” These three letters tie UADM together, unite and have all the hope in the world behind them.
Even our dear Assistant VP of Student Affairs, Adam Sterritt, joined in the fun and allowed students to tape him to the wall. Sterritt raised money FTK in the Ferguson Center dining area--ultimately using 9 entire rolls of Gorilla duct-tape, sold a dollar a yard to local students.
At the end of the day, after all these performances, tabling endeavors, Moo-Yah percentage night, countless emails sent, canning anywhere and everywhere not to mention full out delirium-- the Miracle Makers, UADM Staff as well as countless of donors nationwide contributed to UADM’s overall $100 Day total of $50, 160.58 FTK! This number is part of a bigger goal, to give back as much as possible to the hospital we hold so near and dear to our hearts. A goal that unites us all and gives UADM the confidence that we can always pursue bigger things if we only just believe.
Hey there Miracle Makers! This week we wanted to do a special staff highlight for staff member DJ Tommy Scott! Coming all the way from Dublin, Ohio--this staff member has already made a big impact at UA through Dance Marathon, and wanted to share his story to story to show how students can make a difference, FTK! Here is his story---
“So for me joining UADM was a very easy decision. Coming from high school I was a pediatric cancer research assistant as well as a commercial DJ. The only event in the world that joins my two passions together is Dance Marathon. I started my freshman year as a consultant to UADM about how to run productions equipment, but actually ended up serving as the DJ for the main event in 2015. I was invited back on staff to serve as the DJ for the following year and really enjoyed building the production side of UADM. I served as the DJ for the main event in 2016 as well. I was then brought on as a director for the 2017 year. My job is the best because I get to bring the kids on stage and let them have some special moments in front of a large crowd. I stayed involved because of how much it means to me. As a pediatric cancer research assistant this cause is personal to me and it means a lot to give back. I find the time spent involved in UADM is very worthwhile, which is very important to me. I have been active all over campus including in a fraternity, a member of Capstone Men and Women as well as volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and Hospice of West Alabama. In my involvement in all of these organizations, I can absolutely recommend becoming involved in UADM because it has truly been one of the best experiences in my life.” - UA Junior “DJ” Tommy Scott, UADM Director of Events, Capstone Men and Women, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity
Hey there Miracle Makers! Welcome back to the Capstone. The University of Alabama Miracle Network Dance Marathon is approaching our 6th active year on UA’s campus, and being a part of a school known for breaking records--always pushing to be better, we are pushing for our DM to be better in the same way. This year we want to unite our student body by including all possible campus organizations, and reach out to all available individuals to ensure that our message is heard. “One Generation, Fighting for the Next.” As our student population grows, we hope to create a yearlong fundraising effort, and event that is as big and impressive as our student body. But why should you desire to join such an effort, you ask? The staff and miracle makers come from diverse organizations all across campus, all for the same cause, for the kids. Over the next few weeks, we will ask some of our current staff members and miracle makers what made them join the DM movement.
Firstly, a fundraising rockstar with a personal connection to CMNH and an increased passion to serve others.
"My name is Emily Cvitanovich and this is my story on why I joined University of Alabama Dance Marathon. In 1995, my only sister Mary Beth was born. Little did my parents know, that this perfect baby girl was going to have a neurological disorder called Rett Syndrome. As long as I've been alive, I've never heard Mary Beth speak. She can't walk independently, she has frequent seizures, and she is severely disabled. After traveling all over the country looking for answers, my parents found the world's expert on Rett Syndrome at Children's Hospital in Alabama.
When Mary Beth was 7, the doctors said that her spinal curve was over 65 degrees. They said she would not live to see her 13th birthday, that her heart and her lungs would be crushed. After hearing the news, my parents made the heart-wrenching decision for Mary Beth to have a full spinal fusion surgery.
Because we chose Children's Hospital, Mary Beth was able to have one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the country perform surgery on her. Today, Mary Beth is 21 years old, and we continue to bring Mary Beth to Children's of Alabama every year. Thanks to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, she was able to go to her senior prom and walk at graduation with my graduating class. Thanks to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, they have given us a great quality of life that my sister might not have had and that we might not have gotten to experience with her.
They truly are "Miracle Workers" and being a part of an organization that boldly supports my family and other families just like us is what makes me so thankful and beyond happy to proudly say that I am a part of University of Alabama Dance Marathon, and we support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals." -UA Sophomore Emily Cvitanovich, UADM Assistant Director of Fundraising, SGA Director of Fundraising, Phi Mu Sorority