Alumni Spotlight: Chloe O'Connor
By Emma Herwehe
When Chloe O’Connor was a senior in high school, her friend who did IU Dance Marathon asked her for a donation.
O’Connor didn’t have a debit card at the time, so she was unable to donate. So instead, her friend told her about IUDM and inspired her to join.
When she got to IU the following year, she visited IUDM’s table at the Student Involvement Fair, and the rest is history.
But O’Connor’s connection to Riley doesn’t stop there.
O’Connor’s little brother, Rex, was born three months early and was transferred to Riley Hospital for Children for treatment. While Rex was in the hospital, his parents were able to stay in the Ronald McDonald house, as they had financial need and lived two hours from the hospital.
With that personal connection, and her friend inspiring her to join before she got to IU, O’Connor knew IUDM was the place for her.
“Someone told me about it and I was like ‘Oh, it fundraises for Riley Hospital, I know what that is. It’s an awesome place that helped me have a little brother,’” O’Connor said.
O’Connor was able to participate in IUDM for five years, which she is grateful for. She started out as part of RHARC (now FYDE), then became a committee member on the Recruitment committee, then became Fundraising Chair of the Executive Dancers committee (which does not exist anymore), then became Fundraising Chair of the Recruitment committee, and then spent her fifth year as Vice President of Membership.
Through her extensive involvement in the organization, O’Connor was able to learn of many more experiences people had with Riley. Those connections, plus her own personal experiences, made up her “why.”
She said because IU is so big, it can be difficult to get involved and find a group of people who share similar interests. But IUDM makes that easy, she said.
“I had the most amazing college experience because I got to join IUDM,” O’Connor said.
She said she knows this phrase is consistently used within IUDM, but people truly get out what they put in.
“The really cool thing about IUDM, even if you don’t have a tie to Riley or any sort of Children’s Hospital, is that you get to be part of a movement of like-minded individuals that all are motivated and working towards the same incredible thing, which is raising money and spreading awareness for Riley Hospital,” O’Connor said.
She said she has loved watching the organization grow and see everything IUDM has helped fund within the hospital.
As O’Connor is now an involved alum of IUDM, the organization will always hold a special place in her heart.