JACKSON BLEVINS ’20 | STAFF WRITER • Wabash will host its 3rd Riley Dance Marathon on Saturday,
December 2 at 12:00 P.M. in the Allen Center. The event will be a fun-filled day of food, music, bounce houses, competitive games, and many more activities. Alongside the Wabash community will be eight Riley families who have felt the impact of Riley Children’s Hospitals throughout Indiana. The cost of the event will be $15, but look out for discount admission prices as Saturday comes closer. All money raised throughout the day, including admission fees alonside donations, will go directly to the grand total that is donated to the Riley Children’s Foundation.
Three years ago, Wabash decided to join many colleges in the state by hosting a Dance Marathon. In the first and second years Wabash raised $10,050 and $11,380, respectively. With this in mind, the fundraising goal that was established by leadership for this third year is $15,000. Since Wabash founded Dance Marathon on campus in 2015, they have had to work through challenges to understand how to run a successful Marathon. After working out some kinks in the first few years while still successfully fundraising, the executives feel they are primed for a great event on Saturday.
“The main goal for us is to increase our fundraising total, which is why we have the goal of $15,000,” President of Dance Marathon, Luke Rowles ’19, said. “Another goal for this year and for years to come is getting more people on campus involved. We are a relatively new organization, and some people don’t understand what we do.” Rowles wanted to reassure the rhythmically that the whole event is not centered around dancing. “With all of the activities we have planned, Saturday is a day of celebration. We are just trying to have fun and celebrate the lives of the Riley kids,” Rowles said.
Director of Morale, Ben Massoney ’19, has been busy coordinating all of the activities for the day. Massoney cut spending as much as possible so the most amount of money could be donated, but he is confident it will be a fun and exciting day. “It is going to be a lot of fun. We have tons of activities planned that will keep everyone entertained all while trying to reach our goal,” Massoney said.
Riley Hospital for Children is the only comprehensive children’s hospital in Indiana, and Riley Hospitals have spent 85 years caring for children and treat around 350,000 children per year. The work that Riley Hospitals does on a daily basis drives the leaders of the Wabash Dance Marathon to raise as much money as possible. The executive team had a chance to visit a Riley Children’s Hospital earlier in the year, and they got to experience first-hand the wonderful impact that the doctors and nurses have on the children.
Rowles and Massoney know how important the Riley Hospitals are, as they both have close connections with family members who visited the hospitals. Rowles’s younger brother and sister were both Riley kids, one of the reasons that he is invested in making this year’s marathon great. Massoney has a connection with Riley. “My aunt was a Riley kid,” Massoney said. “She was diagnosed with kidney cancer at three months old and they took care of her up until she was 22. Riley saved my aunt, and I feel indebted to them because the hospitals are so amazing.”
Saturday will be an entertaining and exciting day that you won’t want to miss. Grab a friend and head to the Allen Center on Saturday at 12:00 to help the Wabash Riley Dance Marathon reach their goal of $15,000. Let’s show why Wabash continues to live humanely and lead effectively by supporting a great cause and having fun while doing it.