PHS dance marathon raises funds for Riley
PLYMOUTH — Several Plymouth High School students will have an interesting evening January 28, as they attempt to remain standing for six hours during the school’s first-ever mini Dance Marathon. The event is a fundraiser for Riley’s Children’s Hospital.
“(The students) will stand on their feet for the kids who can’t,” explained event organizer Amy Jacobs.
Jacobs, a PHS grad, is now a senior at Ball State University. She works with several area high schools as co-directer for mini dance marathons in Indiana. The mini marathon is patterned after longer 12-hour dance marathons held at universities. The dance marathons are held nationally, raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. Riley’s Children’s Hospital is the recipient for all the dance marathons held in Indiana.
Participating students register for $15 and receive a t-shirt for the event. They also have the option of raising more money by asking family and friends for donations. On the night of the marathon, students will gather in the school cafeteria, where they will pass the time by playing video games and cornhole, eating, and hearing testimonials from former Riley patients and their families. Although the students won’t be dancing for the entire six hours, they will learn a line dance, creating by Ball State University students. They will perform the dance at halftime of that night’s basketball game. There will also be a raffle at the game.
Jacobs said that her goal for the event is to have 200 students participate, and raise $10,000. She has a personal interest in the event, since her sister Hannah was a patient at Riley’s when she was younger. Jacobs first participated in a dance marathon at Ball State, and knew instantly that she wanted to be a part of organizing marathons for other schools.
“(The dance marathons) are one of the greatest things I’ve ever been a part of,” said Jacobs. “Now that I can help kids like my sister and their siblings go through things (my family) has gone through, that’s really meaningful to me.”
Jacobs said that PHS will be raising money specifically for two programs at Riley’s: Palliative Care — a program developed to help families deal with their child’s terminal or chronic illness diagnosis, and Magic Castle Cart — a castle on wheels with drawers of toys that visits children’s rooms at the hospital.
Jacobs said that Magic Castle Cart especially “made a huge difference” for Hannah when she was staying at Riley’s.
Hannah Jacobs, now 16, is co-president for the PHS dance marathon, along with another former Riley’s patient, Cassie Gaines.
Several area businesses are sponsoring the event, which will begin at 3 p.m. Jan. 28. To donate on behalf of a specific student, visit www.firstgiving.com/rileykids/PHSDM.