My freshman year of high school, I joined Dance Marathon at Bloomington High School South. I joined, initially, because it was what all of my friends were doing, and I didn't want to miss out. I attended my first Dance Marathon that year, and had a blast. The dancing was fun, I spent some quality time with my friends, and we raised over $70,000 for the kids at Riley Hospital for Children.
The profound impact of Dance Marathon didn't really hit me until a couple weeks later. I discovered that one of my closest friends was once a Riley kid, and was very sick when he was younger. This friend, who was a senior at the time, really took me under his wing when I was a freshman, and taught me a lot about life and how to carry myself. As a senior, he led by example and was one of the kindest, most genuine, funny, honest, and generous people I've ever had the privelege of knowing. To this day, he continues to inspire me with his fun loving lifestyle and strong faith.
He once said something to me when he graduated. He quoted a line from the final episode of Boy Meets World, an unquestionable television masterpiece.
Mr. Feeny said, "Do good."
One of Mr. Feeny's students, Topanga, questions, "Don't you mean do well?".
Mr. Feeny responds, "No, I mean do good."
This has stuck with me to this day. I continue to be inspired by my friend, just as all Riley kids have come to inspire me over the years to "do good" in the world. If it wasn't for Riley, I would never have received that advice from my friend. I would not have gotten by so smoothly if it wasn't for my good friend, who has always had my back ever since.
This is what Riley Hospital for Children does. It saves lives. Not only does it save it's patients' lives, it enriches the lives of those around them. Whenever a sick child receives treatment, Riley is saving a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, and a friend. Riley keeps lights from going out prematurely, and keeps other surrounding lights burning brighter than ever before.
This year, I will be dancing in my 8th and final Dance Marathon as a member of the MORALE committee for the third year!!! This year, I have the privilege of being the Director for the top fundraising committee of IUDM; a daunting task to say the least. A wild group of some of the most inspiring college kids you will ever have the privilege of meeting will be gathering for 36 hours in a few short months to raise money for Riley Hospital for Children and do good.
The funds we raise go to the Wells Center for Pediatric Research and the money is spent on both research and clinical programs for Riley. Last year, IU Dance Marathon raised over $4 million, and we hope to blow that number out of the water once again this year.
We can only do that with your help. Any amount of money helps, whether it is a penny, 50 cents, 10 dollars, or one of those weird two dollar bills! Any donation of any size helps save lives and gives hope to kids in need of medical attention. Together, we can save lives, brighten futures, and put a smile on a child's face as they receive the attention they need to get to the next day. You'd be surprised what a group of college kids can do when they are united behind one cause: making miracles. Please, help us change someone's life today and make a difference in a kid's life.
When you save a kid's life, you save so many others indirectly. Imagine a world where no lights burn out before they are supposed to. Imagine a world that shines brighter than ever before. You can help make that happen.
FTK | RW | ALC