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By Emma Herwehe

From Nov. 10-12, hundreds of committee members, dancers and alumni participated in the 33rd annual IU Dance Marathon at the Tennis Center.

For 36 hours, they danced, sang, cried, fundraised, played stage games, bought merchandise and more. For 36 hours, they became one group providing hope for the kids at Riley Hospital for Children.

The marathon officially kicked off at 8 p.m. Friday evening with opening ceremonies, the first of three shifts. Dancers, Riley kids and Executive Council members ran through tunnels of committees, all screaming and high-fiving.

IUDM President Anna Gummere introduced the 22 other Executive Council members who each got a special chant from their committee. After introductions, the crowd parted to welcome the first Riley kid to the stage to share the first of many Riley stories members would hear that weekend.

The marathon consisted of two more opening ceremonies, each 12 hours apart. In between, dancers spent their shifts learning the line dance from the Morale committee, enjoying food from the Hospitality committee and playing games put on by the Entertainment committee.

Other activities at the marathon included “IUDM’s Got Talent,” a Riley kid talent show, Jeopardy, karaoke and more. There were also a few fundraising pushes, including a power hour during which IUDM raised $105,307.84.

There was a high school marathon total reveal, during which it was revealed that the 18 high schools IUDM supports raised $1,153,778.18.

On Sunday morning, at the end of the marathon, a few more Riley kids spoke and the Executive Council presented an array of awards for dancer teams, organizations, Riley kids and committee members.

The marathon is in support of Ryan White and Ashley Louise Crouse. Emma Cannon was honored with the Ryan White award and Vaugn Mihok was honored with the ALC award. Riley kid Olivia Pierce was honored with the Jack Klein award, in memory of former IUDM President Ali Klein’s late brother who passed from lymphoma in 2016.

Mr. Andrew Weaver won the Faculty Award and Hunter Haines won the Outstanding Alumni Award for their unwavering support of IUDM.

Before the total reveal, everyone in the Tennis Center circled up to honor the children who have passed while the song “Angels Among Us” played.

Director of Morale Evi Underhill and Director of Accounting Emma Bastin led the total reveal, and all of IUDM watched as the big white cards went up one by one.

$3,003,837.23 was raised this year for Riley Hospital for Children.

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