Saint Mary's Dance Marathon Gets Bigger Every Year

Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon Gets Bigger Every Year

Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
(574) 284-4579

March 17, 2010 (Notre Dame, Ind.) –The 5th annual student-led Saint Mary's College Dance Marathon will take place March 26-27 in the Angela Athletic Center. More than 450 students from Saint Mary’s College, Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame are expected to participate in the 12-hour overnight fundraiser for Riley Hospital for Children. The Indianapolis hospital treats sick children from all over the state, including the South Bend area. Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon will kick off at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 26 and conclude at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 27. The media is invited to attend.

This year two area high schools will be hosting mini-marathons, with money raised going towards the Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon’s total. Bremen High School will host a mini-marathon in its school gym on Friday, March 19 from 8 p.m.-12 p.m. Marian High School will host its event in its school gym on Saturday, March 27 from 5-11 p.m. The media is also invited to attend these events.
Last year, the Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon raised $91,538 for the hospital’s General Benefit Fund, a new record. Since Saint Mary’s students began the event in 2006, they helped raise approximately $245,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network hospital. Anyone wishing to participate in the event or donate to the cause may click here.

"Riley Hospital treats the sickest of Indiana's children. It is the only comprehensive children’s hospital in the state and many local families and their children turn to Riley in times of crisis,” says Kelly Deranek ‘10, the Saint Mary's College Dance Marathon president and South Bend native.

Five-year-old Abbie Gorski of South Bend was treated at Riley. She was born seemingly healthy on December 9, 2004, weighing in at 7 pounds and 11 ounces. She passed all of her screening tests and went home within 48 hours of her birth. But when she was five days old, Abbie began having breathing troubles. At Memorial Hospital doctors discovered a heart defect and she was transported by helicopter to Riley. There, Abbie had 14-hour open-heart surgery. The Gorski family spent nearly two months at the hospital. Today, Abbie is a lively, happy girl and has more energy than almost anyone.

Saint Mary’s is among the approximately 100 colleges and universities that hold Dance Marathons to benefit Children's Miracle Network hospitals. Dance Marathon is the largest student-run group at Saint Mary’s, with over 80 students involved in coordinating the event. Dance Marathon provides students with the opportunity to support a cause, while gaining valuable real world experience in planning it. “There are so many branches to our organization that no matter what a student’s interest or major is, there is something to do,” Deranek says. “There’s fundraising, public relations, marketing, catering and entertainment planning to be done. It’s a life lesson in team work, with the ultimate reward being the generous donations we raise for Riley.”

If you are interested in interviewing Dance Marathon organizers or the Gorski family in anticipation of the event, contact Gwen O’Brien. We also invite you to cover Dance Marathon and/or the mini-marathons at the high schools. They offer great photo and video opportunities. Marathon activities are not limited to dancing, and include crafts, bands, face painting, Twister tournaments, and tug-of-war competitions.

About Saint Mary’s College:
Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the nation's top 100 liberal arts colleges in U.S. News & World Report's 2010 annual survey. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.