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Rutgers Marathon Raises Over $200,000

Monday, March 26, 2007  
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Rutgers Dance Marathon Nets over $200,000 for Charity
   From The Daily Targum, serving the Rutgers community since 1869

Rutgers Dance Marathon    Is it possible for several hundred University students to stand on their feet for 32 hours straight? At this year's Rutgers Dance Marathon, which spanned from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday night in the College Avenue Gymnasium, students proved they could.
    The money raised at this weekend's event went to support the Institute for Children with Cancer and Blood Disorders. Many of the groups are already participants in the Institute's Adopt-a-Family program. Pharmacy sophomore Brian Knudseu and member of Chi Psi Fraternity said that his organization constantly participates.
    "With Chi Psi, we adopted 3 kids this year," Knudseu said. "We at least try to get a couple of brothers there every week." Knudseu also insisted that the event was an important experience. "I recently got involved in Adopt-a-Family foundation, and it's a really special experience," he said. "For all the time that you put in here, the 32 hours, its worth it."
    Chi Psi has small fundraisers throughout the year in order to help reach their monetary goals. Overall, the group spends one year organizing the event.

    Participants were able to see first hand who the money was helping. Felicia Stradford, is a mother in the Adopt-a-Family program which has children with sickle cell anemia - a genetic blood disorder that predominantly affects blacks.
    Stradford has been attending the dance annually for several years, and spoke to the dancers about the disease and extended her thanks. "If we could give each one of you a massage we would," Stradford said to the dancers. "Today, when you see my kids, you know exactly where the money is going. Because of you my kids can have a better quality of life."
    Stradford also stressed her appreciation for the event. "Well, the thing is that when you go to most fundraisers, they are all adults," she said. "[Dance Marathon] is college students. It really touches my heart that they raise this money so my kids can have a better quality of life."

    Rutgers College junior Will Mallon, is the captain of Community Outreach for Dance Marathon. He said that the group had been consistently working hard in planning.
    "It's been in the works since about May last year," Mallon said. "I think support increased this year from last year. This is my second year doing Dance Marathon, it feels great. It's just a really exciting event."
    Rutgers College senior and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Donald Moore, insisted that the overwhelming participation by the Greek community is genuine.
"Everybody volunteers, nobody is ever forced," Moore said. "Everyone does it for the love of the children. A lot of love and service goes into doing this. Being here and seeing what your money goes to - no matter how tired you are - it's the end product that makes it all worth it."
    Participants did more than just dance. The event included several activities from hula hoping to double-dutch and even had speakers. This year's event totals surpassed those of last year's marathon. In the end, 408 dancers and 464 volunteers worked to raise a grand total of $220,018.41.

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