The University of Indianapolis’ UIndy Dance Marathon hosted its first Riley Week in support of the Riley Children’s Foundation and Indiana’s only nationally-ranked children’s hospital Oct. 23-29. The week included a Miracle Walk, hospital tour, Giveback Night at Chick-fil-A, L/P event and fundraiser, Pancake Dinner, pumpkin carving and painting and canning at the UIndy football game.
The Miracle Walk was a six-day event, Oct. 24-29, and gave the UIndy community an opportunity to get a glimpse of different Riley childrens’ stories through posters hung around Smith Mall. On Oct. 24, tours of Riley Hospital for Children were given to students, staff and faculty. Giveback Night was hosted by UIndy DM on Oct. 26 at Chick-fil-A, which contributed part of its proceeds to Riley Hospital. That same day, an L/P event in UIndy Hall introduced UIndy DM to students by giving information about it and showing the audience how to get involved with the cause. UIndy DM hosted a Pancake Dinner on Oct. 27, charging $3 for pancakes to raise money for the Riley Foundation. Pumpkin carving and painting occurred on Smith Mall on Oct. 28 for $3 a pumpkin, in celebration of Halloween.
Finally, on Oct. 29, committee members sold cookies, hot chocolate, and accepted donations in Key Stadium at the UIndy football game, with all proceeds going to Riley.
Besides Riley Week, UIndy DM holds other fundraising events throughout the year.
UIndy DM will host its ninth annual six-hour-long marathon from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 11 in the Ruth Lilly Fitness Center. The marathon will include themed activities, a line dance, stories from Riley children and their families and more. According to the Riley Dance Marathon website, “Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate in the dance marathon to dance for those who cannot.”
Since the start of the dance marathon on campus, UIndy DM has raised a total of $67,355.20. Senior pre-art therapy major and Dance Marathon President Allie Bishop said that this past year, the UIndy DM beat its goal of $20,000, and hopes to set an even bigger record this year for the children at Riley Hospital.
“Our actual goal is to raise $29,000, but I have challenged our executive boards and committee that if we raise at least $40,000, I am shaving my head,” Bishop said.
Just on Saturday, Oct. 29, UIndy DM raised more than $1,000 during the football game and from online donations.
“As we just add up the amount of money we raised throughout the week, and as we just remember why we’re doing everything, no matter how stressful it has been throughout the week, it is always reflecting on why I’m doing [it] and what I’m doing,” Bishop said.
Riley Week, as well as many other events at UIndy, helped raise funds to support the children at Riley Hospital. Sophomore biology major and Riley Marketing Executive Bethany Pollock is pleased with how far the UIndy DM has come since the beginning of program.
“I think that the most rewarding part is seeing how much more [of the] campus is recognizing us,” Pollock said.
Within the week, UIndy DM was able to raise an estimated $3,000.