(Center) Sophomore exercise science major Brianna Myers kneels during UIndy Dance Marathon in support of Riley Hospital. Participants kneeled instead of sitting because they were standing for those who cannot. Photo by Cassie Reverman
(Center) Sophomore exercise science major Brianna Myers kneels during UIndy Dance Marathon in support of Riley Hospital. Participants kneeled instead of sitting because they were standing for those who cannot. Photo by Cassie Reverman

UIndyDM held a six-hour long dance marathon in support of Riley Hospital on Feb. 10. UIndyDM collects donations for Riley Hospital.

DM is UIndyDM’s annual event that hosts Riley Hospital children, their families and the campus community. This year was the 10th DM held at UIndy. Partcipants and UIndyDM raised $38,000.77, which was $1,000 more than their fundraising goal.

Freshman psychology and pre-occupational therapy major Mackenzie Williams is a member of the Morale Committee, which is in charge of creating the line dance and generating energy.

Williams said she has raised over $1000 for DM on her fundraising page.  Williams, like many many other DM members and participants, also helps manage the area where the activities take place.

“[DM] is six hours of all of our dancers and our team raisers standing on their feet and raising awareness for the kids at Riley,” Williams said. “[The morale committee] teaches a line dance. We bring in kids from Riley and we hear their stories. We also have tons of food and games throughout the entire event.”

At the marathon, there was a donation table where UIndyDM donors and participants posted on a bulletin what they fundraised.

Each time a name came up, a cowbell was rung and all participants cheered and clapped in response. There was also a raffle table and food tables with pizza and other snacks. The ground area was also open to children if they wanted to participate. Many themed areas for children were set up  for playing games. One of those areas was an inflatable, bounce house. The committee members also danced to songs throughout most of the event. A pre-choreographed routine was taught during the DM to children and participants. There was also a DJ.The event had both members and UIndy students watching and participating. DM allowed families and children from Riley Hospitals onto the balcony and the event’s main floor.

Sophomore nursing major and Director of Marketing for DM Abby Spencer is in her second year with UIndyDM. According to Spencer, the fundraising methods allow different ways for individuals to directly donate to DM.

“We have online fundraising pages through [Riley’s Children Foundation] and each committee member posts their pages on social media,” Spencer said. “Anyone who is their friend on Facebook or on social media can send-in emails and click to donate on the [member’s] page.”

Spencer said there are also goals to the donations that go into DM. Members and participants have an individual goal of $500. DM’s full goal was to raise $37,000 for Riley Hospitals and the Riley’s Children Foundation.

According to Spencer, there were events throughout the week leading up to DM., referred to as “Riley Week.”

On Feb. 5, they worked with the Southport Chick-Fil-A for a giveback night. Participating members could show a flyer to their server or the manager, so that 20 percent of the bill contributes to the fundraising efforts of DM. DM also held a Trail Mix Station where participants could purchase their own trail mix bag for $3 in Schwitzer Student Center.

For one of the final events leading up to DM, UIndyDM held a tie dye event. Those who took part in the activity could purchase a pair of socks to tie dye for $3. Individuals were also allowed to bring their own shirts to dye for free.

According to Spencer, UIndyDM events happen throughout the whole year that lead up to DM. Spencer also said each dollar that they make towards DM is then matched by the government with $12 to every $1 that DM raises.