Mike Harris may never have busted a move in public before, but that’s not stopping Rowan’s Vice President of Facilities and Operations from dancing for a cause. Harris is currently Rowan’s first ever representative in Gloucester County’s annual Dancing With the Stars competition, which is sponsored by the Greater Woodbury Chamber of Commerce.
Through the charity event, which is in its sixth year, Harris is raising money for the Rowan Emergency Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to Rowan students facing detrimental life changes or family crises. According to Harris, a Philadelphia resident and father of three, Rowan had been approached in previous years about participating in the event, but no one had ever volunteered. Harris initially declined as well when colleagues approached him last spring about participating, but later changed his mind after attending an informational meeting. Having been part of the Rowan family for two and a half years, Harris claims, “I think this will really be great for Rowan as a community. Everyone was so pumped about it, that by the end of the meeting I couldn’t say no!”
There has been no shortage of support for Harris on campus either, with “I Like Mike” buttons being sold for $5 each at the campus bookstore and various local businesses providing ways for the community to lend a helping hand. The Landmark Americana, for example, has offered two separate dates where you can have 25% of your total food and drink bill donated to the charity simply by bringing in a printable flier you can find on the Rowan DWTS website, http://www.rowan.edu/DWTS.
Harris seemed enthusiastic and anticipatory as he explained how the competition is in full swing. He revealed that they just recently taped the first four dances in front of a live audience, and they will be broadcasted on cable television during the month of September. Then, on September 29, comes the fifth and final dance. An accompanying banquet will include an award for the best dancer, in addition to the presentation of checks in the amounts that each respective charity has raised.
Through the experience, Harris claimed, “I’m starting to realize what this could mean for the students who really need [the aid]. The more participants and support we can get, the better.”
Hopefully, Harris can be an inspiration to all who aspire to do charitable work to benefit others. His example on the merit of ‘waltzing’ outside your comfort zone for the greater good is what earned him the title of this week’s Campus Celebrity!