Dance Marathon was last weekend, and I still haven’t caught up on my sleep. For those of you who don’t know, Dance Marathon is an event put on by Hope that raises money for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Participants sign up for the full 24-hour shift or 8-hour shifts, and we all gather in the Dow for fun activities, dancing, and fundraising all night.
You’d be surprised at how long you can go until your feet start to feel like they’re going to fall off.
The coolest part of the marathon is hearing the stories of the families that you’re raising money for. Personally, this is what kept me going throughout the night. Being given a reminder as to why I was there, still awake and feet killing me, gave me all of the reason to go on.
Besides the speakers, there were various music groups that came, inflatable bounce houses, a pancake making competition (delicious), yoga, zumba, kickboxing, snacks, meals, and pool-time (time to dip your feet in the pool) to keep us busy. There was even a line-dance that they taught throughout the night that kept us all busy! In addition, there was a schedule of themes for certain hours; you dressed up for the theme and your team could get points!
I’m pretty proud of the positive attitude that I kept going at Dance Marathon this year… I didn’t really start getting grumpy until after lunch on Saturday morning, and at that point we only had four or five hours to go. I found the experience to be very rewarding. Tiring, but rewarding.
At the end of the experience, all of the participants circled around the Dow and the families went around and said goodbye to us all. I could tell by the tears on one of the miracle child’s (one of the kids from the hospital!) face that the time spent really meant a lot to her too. My heart was touched.
Our marathon raise $182,187.30 for the children of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. It’s truly a remarkable event that continues to raise more and more awareness and funds each and every year. I’m so glad that I got to take part in it!