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Photo by Amanda Parsons

Miracle Maker — Amanda Parsons

Motivating. Inspiring. Heartwarming. These are the three words Amanda used to describe her experience with Mason Miracle Dance Marathon this past year. 

Amanda is no stranger to the Dance Marathon movement. Before joining Mason Miracle, the Dance Marathon chapter at George Mason University, as the Internal Director, she grew up participating in the University of Iowa’s Dance Marathon. The university raised funds for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, and Amanda was inspired to join after seeing the impact that was created.

“Funds raised throughout the year can have a dramatic effect on the patients and families at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,” said Amanda. “I quickly learned how valuable Dance Marathon is in the community and knew that I wanted to continue this while at Mason.”

Amanda is currently a junior at George Mason University. With her major in community health and minor in health psychology, she has a strong passion for community health and nonprofit work, motivating her to join Mason Miracle.

With chapters in different universities and high schools all over the country, the Miracle Network Dance Marathon movement is a year-long effort to raise money and awareness for sick and injured kids at local Children’s National Hospitals. 

The fundraising efforts are based on peer-to-peer fundraising in the community initiated by the Dance Marathon chapters throughout the year. In the meantime, the Dance Marathon main event and other smaller-scale events are hosted to celebrate those fundraising efforts.

There are currently over 400 Dance Marathon programs, with communities dancing their hearts out to help with this cause. Since its inception, the movement has raised over $300 million for kids across North America. 

With this past year being Mason Miracle’s first year, it holds a very special place in Amanda’s heart. “This past year was so special for me because I got to help create a long-lasting legacy that will be Mason Miracle at George Mason University,” explained Amanda. “I am so honored to have been a part of the inaugural Dance Marathon event and it motivated me to run for Executive Director for this upcoming year.”

One of the greatest things about Dance Marathon is the connections. Students involved are not just fundraising and hosting events, they also get the chance to meet and connect with Miracle Families at their local Children’s National Hospital. 

“My favorite thing about Children’s National Hospital is being able to interact with the Miracle Families and learn more about their journey and how special Dance Marathon is to them,” said Amanda with a smile. 

Some of Amanda’s highlights from this past year include the virtual events Mason Miracle hosted with Miracle Kid Mason and his family, as well as the virtual Dance Marathon week-long event.

Aside from meeting the Miracle Families and hosting events, one of Amanda’s most rewarding moments was when the team announced their total amount of funds raised at the end of the week-long Dance Marathon event — $7,500. 

Despite the great moments, there were many challenges the Mason Miracle team faced this past year. With virtual classes and COVID-19 safety guidelines on campus, it was very difficult to reach out reaching out to the Mason community in a virtual space and form genuine connections. 

With the pandemic taking a positive turn with mass vaccination efforts in the Mason community, Amanda is looking forward to the chance of finally getting on campus and being able to interact and hold events with the Mason community. 

“People should join Mason Miracle because we create a community of passionate students who have one goal of ensuring the health of future generations to come,” urged Amanda. 

Are you #ForTheKids?

If you are passionate about kids’ health and raising awareness and money for the cause, visit Mason Miracle on Instagram @masonmiraclegmu to learn how you can get involved! 

Marina Li

George Mason University '21

Marina is a junior at George Mason University studying Communication with a concentration in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing and Tourism & Events Management. She is a social media coordinator, content creator and event planner. She is the kind of person who would burst out singing Disney, musicals, and Christmas songs out of nowhere. In her free time, she likes to watch corgi compilations, read, watch Netflix, think about life and experience repeated existential and identity crisis. Her dream job is to work with Pixar or Disney Studios.