By Emma Herwehe
‘Twas the night before Marathon, and all through the Tennis Center;
Not a creature was stirring, dancers couldn’t wait to enter;
The banners were hung along the walls with care;
In hopes that millions of memories would soon be made there...
Flags displaying the names of each committee will fly in the air; loud chants and music will soon be heard over the sound of tired feet hitting the ground. Colorful lights will shine over the IU Tennis Center. As new dancers are welcomed through a human tunnel, they will still be unsure of the change they are about to make in hundreds of thousands of lives.
For 36 hours this weekend, IU students will dance. They will dance in order to give children at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis the care they need and deserve. Our schedule for the weekend is packed with dancing, fundraising, games, music, food, and so much more. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:00 p.m. Friday evening, with the total reveal happening at 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Last year, IUDM was able to raise $3,090,215.23, and we hope to surpass that this year. The funds raised with go towards clinical care and research for the 300,00 kids treated at Riley annually.
The musical talent scheduled for the weekend includes special guests Christian French, Hank Ruff, Six Foot Blonde, Mindfully Blind, Another Round, Jukebox Luke, and Ladies First. Each playing a few hours apart, participants will always have entertainment to look forward to throughout the weekend.
Committee members and dancers will shave their heads, a fashion show will take place, and “IUDM’s Got Talent” will showcase some of our very own hidden talents. Theme hours include Adam Sandler, Tacky Prom, Dynamic Duo, Scooby Doo, Cream and Crimson, What are you Wearing, Rave, and Color Wheel. A rave is scheduled for Sunday morning at 3:00 a.m., followed by Zumba a few hours later at 6:00 a.m.
The marathon will also consist of Riley stories from the kids and their families, talks from doctors, “Doc Talks,” and plenty of inspiring moments. For the purpose of IUDM to be put into perspective, to learn that this organization is bigger than the Tennis Center and IU; that’s the fuel behind the 36 hours. It’s much bigger than ourselves.
The Tennis Center will be lined with banners for the committees, dancer groups, and Riley kids participating. A large stage will overlook the center, the iconic Riley bell placed upon it. Merchandise tables, food, and game areas will take up other areas of the Tennis Center.
On Thursday evening, committee members gather for “IUDM Eve,” preparing for the weekend to come by hyping each other up and sharing one last night together before the marathon. One last jelly bean.
But for now, the Tennis Center is quiet.
This weekend will be the opposite. Sweat, tears, and so much love will fill the building, as we change kids’ health for the better. Kids Can’t Wait.