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dance marathon participants

Dance Marathon is a North American initiative that raises funds and awareness towards Children’s Miracle Network. Money is raised through year-long fundraisers, donations, and socials, all of which culminate in a grand 10 hour Dance Marathon which involves music, guest speakers, free food, and live entertainment! 

The main goal of the event is to keep the event attendees on their feet for the entire duration of the event, as a way to support children who are not able to get on their feet and dance their heart out easily, because they are preoccupied with fighting various ailments. Watch this video that highlights the 2015 SFU Dance Marathon event.

The first ever Canadian university Dance Marathon was initiated by members of the SFU Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity and took place in 2014. Since then SFU students have carried on with the event and each year there is more student interest, initiative, and passion towards the cause. SFU Dance Marathon directly supports BC Children’s Hospital and has raised $29, 391.30 over the last two years. The team goal for SFU Dance Marathon 2016 is $25,000. 

Although the goal is to raise funds for the children at BC Children’s Hospital, the executive members of SFU Dance Marathon 2016 would like to increase their club awareness on campus. They are working hard to ensure that the university that introduced Dance Marathon to other universities in Canada can continue to host successful Dance Marathons that succeed at being even grander than the preceding years.  

I was able to connect with the co-presidents of SFU Dance Marathon 2016, Aris Grout and Caitlyn Schwab, who answered a few questions about the cause and the upcoming Dance Marathon event taking place on February 20, 2016. 

What inspired you to get involved with Dance Marathon? 

Aris: B.C. Children's Hospital changed my life through my twin brother, who was born with a rare syndrome. B.C. Children's Hospital administered 30+ operations to bring my brother’s health, strength, and confidence up to where it is today. Family means the world to me, and as a dancer I can attest to the healing powers and joy induced by dancing. I see no better way of applying myself to the betterment of our community, than through the SFU Dance Marathon Club.

Caitlyn: I was enthralled with joining Dance Marathon. Not only do they provide such great care and support for all children of BC, but I also have a personal attachment. My little cousin was diagnosed with a heart birth defect and had to have open heart surgery at two weeks old. Subsequently, he has had three open heart surgeries to date and is a happy and healthy eight years old! Our family would not be blessed with our kind, sweet, and adventurous little dude without BC Children's Hospital and we are forever grateful for the medical care he received there. 

How can other students still get involved with Dance Marathon 2016? 

A: Sign-up to participate/volunteer with us by visiting our website. Follow us on social media for upcoming events, prizes, and fun videos. Donate directly here.

C: We have an unlimited stream of opportunities for students, whether you're looking to be involved in promotional events, event planning, recruitment, community events, or socials.

What is something different that students can expect at Dance Marathon 2016 than from previous SFU Dance Marathons? 

A: This year our event boasts more entertainment, prizes, and activities than ever before. Opportunities to engage are everywhere. We're not just another fundraiser; we're your second family. Contact us with any inquiries about involvement or collaboration, and we will reply.

C: We have bulked up our event schedule with a wide variety in performances, activities, and sponsorship, bigger and better than ever before! Don't miss out on delicious free food, a free t-shirt, invaluable speeches from BC Children’s miracle kids, and pump up entertainment to keep you going for 10 amazing hours.

What have you accomplished personally while being involved with Dance Marathon in a presidential role? 

A: Everything from putting together our extraordinary executive team, to organizing events, meetings, advising, making silly videos...on and on. The array of learned material is astounding and inspiring. So much of what we do is a team effort and I wouldn't trade the experience or the people for anything in the world.

C: Both Aris and myself have been actively involved in communicating with other Dance Marathon schools in Canada. We have also been initiating several collaborations with other SFU clubs to help grow our SFU campus community; this has been one of our main goals as I feel there are so many incredible opportunities provided by clubs on campus.

Any other comments for the students who will be reading the blog? 

A: Join us as one generation fighting for the next, and help change the lives of local children, like my brother, for decades to come. #PartyForACause, #FTK (For the Kids).

C: I came to SFU in 2013 as a transfer student and by pushing myself a bit outside of my comfort zone and connecting up with Dance Marathon I have been incredibly rewarded in meeting so many inspiring SFU students who I am proud to call my friends.

For more information about the SFU Dance Marathon Club and to stay up to date with all their events leading up to the 10 hour marathon on February 20, 2016, have a look at their website and social media links, including their Facebook page and Twitter account

Beyond the Blog

SFU Student
Amy (Amandeep) Gill is a fourth year Biomedical Physiology student who is passionate about volunteering and community engagement. Through SFU’s Career and Volunteer Services blogs, Amy provides insights and shares knowledge regarding her many interests, with the overall goal of persuading her fellow SFU peers to get more involved, both on and off of SFU’s campuses.

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