The Daily Gamecock

Dance Marathon reveals 2019 event fundraising goal

After raising $1,025,171 for the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital at USC Dance Marathon's main event in 2018, the organization has set a new goal: $1,190,000.  Their 2019 main event will take place on March 2, 2019 at the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center.

The goal was announced after an all-day event at the Russell House patio on Monday and reflects the 119 beds in the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.

“It was a lot of teamwork, as far as the VP's and our president and really looking at what we were able to do last year and really kind of trying to decide what we want our vision to be this year,” said fourth-year political science and economics student Lilli Marshall. 

Marshall serves as the vice president of campus relations for the organization, a position that involves overseeing aspects of recruitment by maintaining Dance Marathon’s relationship with other on-campus organizations. 

Marshall said that through her position in recruitment last year, she saw USC students come together under the common cause of helping children in need. 

“It was such a unique way for so many people and so many different organizations to come together in a way that sometimes we really don’t have opportunities to do as students,” Marshall said.

Second-year risk management and insurance student Erynne Rasheed got involved in the Morale Team through her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. 

“I was here last year, and a bunch of the older girls in my sorority were on Morale last year," Rasheed said. "Then at main event, I kind of saw how much of an impact they had on the community as a whole and I really wanted to get involved.” 

Marshall estimated that 350 USC students partake in leadership roles in the organization, with 2,200 students registering to participate. Marshall hopes to have a similar, or larger, number of students in attendance at the main event in the spring. 

While many students think of the event as the 14-hour dance at the Strom, fourth-year mass communications student and vice president of communications for Dance Marathon Wesley Masters stated that the efforts to raise funds for the hospital go on year-round. 

“We fundraise throughout the year and we have different events,” Masters said. “We have percent nights, we go to the hospital, we hang out with these families outside of school. So it really is all encompassing.”

Masters emphasized that the event, while run by students, still embraces the community of Columbia throughout the year.

“You see people falling in love with giving back and I think that that’s really important because in college you can get kind of caught up in your school work and caught up in own life," Masters said. "And it's important to realize that there’s a world out there that needs our help and we’re students that can make a change."