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Dance Marathon raises more than $4000 for Riley Hospital

As the third quarter rears to an end, the BCHS Dance Marathon held its biggest fundraiser of the year. On Friday, March 3 from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. in the Larry C. Banks Memorial Gymnasium, the student-run organization hosted a night of dancing, dodge ball, and entertainment.

Miracle Network Dance Marathon is a movement uniting college, university, and high school students across North America. Students involved in Dance Marathon at Brown County High School spend a year gaining leadership, teamwork, and non-profit business experiences by raising funds and awareness for Riley’s Children Hospital based in Indianapolis.

Senior Skylar Fleischman started Dance Marathon at BCHS her freshman year. “I am a Riley patient myself. My sister is an outreach patient as well for her heart. That’s why I started Dance Marathon. Riley [Hospital] runs in the family… I bought Dance Marathon to Brown County just to shine a light on such an amazing hospital.”

The fundraiser on Friday had a variety of activities for students to participate in including a Wii console, spikeball, basketball, dancing, a dodgeball tournament, a tug-of-war tournament, and a photo booth. Students from IU Bloomington traveled to Brown County and taught the traditional Dance Marathon line dance as well.

“I played dodgeball and it was a lot of fun,” freshman Seth Oliphant said. “I definitely want to attend next year.”

BCHS Dance Marathon also featured two guest speakers who received treatment at Riley Children’s Hospital. Kylinn Dripps, nine-years-old, was born with a hole in her heart and a tumor in her eye. Dripps’ mom talked on behalf of her, remembering the difficulties her family experienced with Dripps’ two surgeries a year. Dasia Wilkerson, a senior at Brown County High School, discussed her kidney reflex and the three recent surgeries she underwent at Riley Hospital.

“While I was at the hospital, I saw a lot of other patients who were struggling far worse than I was,” Wilkerson stated. “After witnessing first hand what Riley is all about, it made me appreciate dance marathon and what they do to help children and families… It [Dance Marathon] can really lift the financial burden off of people who are struggling.”

At the end of the evening, BCHS Dance Marathon revealed their final fundraising total of $4,400.

“Our goal this year was to raise $10,000,” Fleischman stated. “It was kind of an ambitious goal, but at the end of the day, the money is for the kids regardless if we raise $10 or $10,000.”

Fleischman committee consists of 50 students in grades 9-12. This year, Fleischman divided the committee into groups. Each group played an imperative role in Friday’s success. Fundraising, led by Caly Rice, organized monthly fundraisers, the spirit week preceding Friday’s event, and the personal fundraising each member of Dance Marathon is required to complete. Logistics, led by Kyndra Wood, set up the decorations, communicated with Riley Hospital, and served the food on Friday. Entertainment, led by Josh Parry, was in charge of game ideas, the promotion video, and the song playlist for the marathon day.

After Fleischman graduates, Dance Marathon will be passed down to junior, Cassiday Davis. “I want to try to follow Skylar’s example and continue with the monthly fundraisers.”

BCHS Dance Marathon intends to continue fundraising for the rest of the 2019 school year. If one would like to donate to BCHS Dance Marathon, please contact Skylar Fleischman at sfleischman19@browncountyschools.com or contact Brown County High School’s main office.

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