Last weekend, March 29, Brigid Dass of Phi Mu teamed up with Delta Upsilon to plan JMU’s first ever dance marathon. Check out our interview with her below!
Hometown: Highland, Maryland (between Baltimore and D.C.)
Major: IdLS with a Special Education Minor
Brigid (Phi Mu) & Brad (Delta Upsilon)
CH: Where did you get the idea for MadiTHON?
BD: I got the idea for MadiTHON from the Children’s Miracle Network Program Coordinator at UVA, Ryan Lightner who I have been working with for the past year. When the philanthropy chair at the time and I were trying to think of a big philanthropy event we could put on that would get our name out there and make lots of money, Ryan suggested a dance marathon. He told us how successful it is at other schools and how he believed that JMU had the spirited environment necessary to hold a successful dance marathon. Once we realized the opportunity to put on JMU’s first dance marathon was right in front of us, we couldn’t turn it down.
CH: How did you raise money?
BD: We had a registration website for dancers where each participant had a donation page. Dancers could customize their page with a fundraising goal, letter to family and friends, and links. These webpages could be emailed out to family and friends and posted on social media pages. Because of this, the majority of our money was raised online. Our Phi Mu chapter personally took part in a letter writing campaign which was another way we raised funds for the event. The letters explained what we were doing (dancing) and more about the cause/where the money we raise is going (Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals/ UVA Children’s Hospital). We probably raised about 10% of the funds through this letter writing campaign.
CH: What was the most difficult part of the planning process?
BD: The most difficult part of the planning process was definitely trying to plan the timeline for the night. Our event was held from 7pm-7am so it was hard to find entertainment groups and speakers to come to our event. We were so fortunate to have Party Cartel for the entire twelve hours but we definitely struggled coming up with ideas of games and activities for dancers to participate in throughout the night.
CH: Did you have anyone to help you?
BD: Yes! Phi Mu and Delta Upsilon paired up to plan MadiTHON but we had a team of 8 of us that organized the majority of the event.
CH: What was your biggest fear/worry about MadiTHON?
BD: Personally, I was very scared that nobody would come or register for the event. Luckily, that fear disappeared shortly after the registration site went live.
CH: I’m sure you were super stressed the day of the event, but did you still enjoy MadiTHON overall?
BD: YES! Looking back it all feels like a total blur but I had the time of my life dancing twelve hours straight for the kids with so many other JMU students that share the same passion.
CH: What was the total amount raised?
BD: Our grand total ended up being $63,396.70 (our goal was $20,000). This total broke the record for first year dance marathons in the northeast region and was also the most money ever raised through at JMU Greek philanthropy event!
CH: Do you plan to have a MadiTHON 2015? If so, how much money do you hope to raise?
BD: I definitely plan on there being a MadiTHON 2015, my hope is that this event can eventually become a JMU tradition. An incubator for a premature baby is around $80,000 so my hope is that we can have enough money to purchase one for the UVA Children’s Hospital.