Dance Marathon breaks their own record, raising more than $1.12 M.
The Rutgers University Dance Marathon (RUDM) broke a new record this year, raising $1,120,205.48 for the organization Embrace Kids Foundation. The two-day event, which had 199 volunteers and 1,873 dancers, has come a long way from its beginning 21 years ago, raising $45,000 with 99 dancers in 1999.
“Dancers are the heart and soul of DM, your experiences here, the hours you spend with the families and the dollars you raise for the Embrace Kids Foundation, exemplifies the values of Dance Marathon,” said Katherine Budinsky, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and one of the volunteers who spoke at the closing ceremonies.
There were also 327 students and alumni who participated in this year’s Dance Marathon who have participated in at least three past Dance Marathons, she said. Twenty-four members of the central planning committee’s staff have been involved in all four years of their college experience as well.
The planning for the event began last May, with 26 members of the central planning committee, 86 team captains, who have been helping to plan Dance Marathon since last fall by working basketball concession stands, canning and hundreds of other tasks assigned to their teams.
“I was a former cancer researcher myself, and this is such an important thing to be doing, to help the families of kids,” said Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy at the closing ceremonies. “This is something that a state university like Rutgers should be doing, and oh my goodness, you guys are doing it.”
The closing ceremonies also announced the winners for individual categories. The Most Spirited Volunteer was Hetal Kumar, a School of Arts and Sciences senior from Phi Delta Epsilon. The Most Spirited Dancer was Jillian Mulhern, a Mason Gross School of the Arts junior from the fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. The Most Spirited Captain was Christina Skurka, a School of Nursing sophomore from the fraternity Omega Phi Alpha.
The greek multicultural chapter with the most money raised was the Delta Epsilon Psi fraternity incorporated with $8,258.41, the top residence hall was the Honors College with $20,541.33 and the student organization with the most was Rutgers University Student Assembly with $11,097.43. Additionally, the professional fraternity with the most money raised was Alpha Phi Omega with $50,551.63, the inter-fraternity council chapter with the most was Chi Psi with $64,750.02 and Phi Sigma Sigma was the sorority with the most at $65,218.26.
The student who was the top overall fundraiser, raising $1,075 was Max Latner, a Rutgers Business School junior from Chi Psi, the top volunteer was Nicole Woodstock, a School of Arts and Sciences junior from Gamma Phi Beta who raised $8,050 and the top dancer, Daniel De Almeida, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore from Chi Psi, raised $16,731.
The ceremonies also made sure to thank all the organizations that helped them along the way, including athletics who allows them to use the Rutgers Athletic Center and has supported them with concession and athlete involvement. Dance Marathon’s sponsors and Rutgers Dining Services provided all the meals for the event, 100 percent of all meals were donated this year.
Rutgers Emergency Medical Services and Rutgers University Police Department provided their services for the event as well. Dance Marathon’s Design Services produced all the designs and production for the event, along with Hurricane Productions, a group of alumni who worked on the first Dance Marathon.
“It is a huge job, and we appreciate all the work they do to make this event a success,” said Mason Plotts, a Mason Gross School of the Arts senior and one of the volunteer speakers.