By Emma Herwehe
On Friday, Oct. 6, IU Dance Marathon held its 18th annual Gala.
Gala is a formal night at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis open to anyone in the IUDM community including alumni, families, committee members and friends. There were over 350 people in attendance Friday.
Attendees dressed in their best formal attire, including gowns and tuxedos.
Special Events, one of 18 committees in IUDM, has been planning the evening for months and put on a magical and lovely night, which included dinner, fundraising and more.
“We get to watch it fill up,” Julia Brashler, Special Events committee member, said. “We get there early for set-up and we do the VIP Event, and then we see as more and more people start to trickle in and it’s so exciting because everyone is like ‘No way all these people are going to be here,’ and then sure enough all the tables fill up and it’s so loud and so exciting.”
The evening consisted of silent auctions, a live auction and a paddle raise, all meant to raise money for the ALC (Ashley Louise Crouse) Legacy Endowment, which generates funds to help offset the operational expenses of IUDM.
The ALC Legacy Endowment’s goal is to fund the entire annual operating cost of IUDM by 2030.
Big-ticket items at the auction included vacations, a nice bourbon set, concert tickets and resort tickets. Those who donated $5,000 get to dedicate one of the Riley wagons at Riley Hospital for Children, which is a true honor.
Ashley served on the IUDM Executive Council in 2004 and 2005, before she was tragically killed in a car accident on the way home from an Exec meeting on April 11. Casey Crouse, Ashley’s brother, spoke at Gala and emphasized the significance of Ashley’s legacy and the ALC Legacy Endowment.
“It means so much to know that ALC’s impact still means so much even though so much time has passed,” Brashler said. “You can see how it’s affected people like you and me, and people she never would have thought it would be possible to impact.”
Regan Hopper, a committee member on Special Events, got to experience Gala for the first time this year. She was there from set-up to tear-down, and got to help keep the night running smoothly.
She said IUDM, like Gala, is so rewarding, and people truly get out what they put in.
“It was very heartwarming to see everyone come together for the same cause,” Regan Hopper, Special Events committee member, said. “I got to talk to a lot of the donors and learn their connections throughout the organization. It helped me put into perspective how our efforts have such a big contribution to Riley.”