Dance 'Till You Drop with UMass' For the Kids Organization! All About this Year's Dance Marathon

Think back on your childhood; what comes into your mind initially? Perhaps it was your favorite ice cream. Or, maybe climbing trees outside after school with your best friends at the time.

Now, imagine the sterile smell of a hospital room. Doesn’t compare to the smell of spring and the outdoors, huh? Picture the bleak, harshly lit patient rooms and listen to the sounds of the hushed voices of doctors and nurses, scrambling around to the various hospital rooms.

Perhaps you are a doctor or nurse and this is your dream workplace, which in case, is wonderful! But this is the reality of childhood for significantly sick or injured children, all who are unable to experience playing outside and must live at their local hospital full time.

Not only that, but their families must watch them go through this and find ways to finance their expensive treatments.  

Two of my closest friends at college are very involved with the For the Kids Organization, also known as FTK, on campus here at UMass Amherst, and I would love to give them a shout out for all their hard work and the numerous hours they have spent on their fundraising efforts: so here’s to Abigail Kurdin and Nicole Stearns and the rest of their club for raising money for the kids!

Abigail and Nicole, pictured above.

For the Kids is an organization that fundraises for the Baystate Children’s Hospital, where many sick children reside and require a significant fund for hospital bills. All the money raised for the hospital goes towards critical treatments, hospital equipment, healthcare services, etc. FTK is famous around campus for their big fundraising events, such as FTK Nights at Lit Club in Amherst or delivering breakfast sandwiches around campus on a Sunday morning.

FTK is continuously growing by involving more and more groups and clubs on campus; each organization has an “FTK Team” and all compete to raise as much money as possible for the kids. Every team, which ranges from Greek life groups to clubs such as Women of Isenberg, is followed by fundraising committees to track how much money has been made by each. Curious to see who’s in first? You can follow along on the event website by clicking here. According to the official FTK website, the organization raised over $212,000 for the Baystate Children’s Hospital last year.

FTK Members at Dance Marathon last year, revealing the amount that was raised for Baystate Children’s Hospital.

 

The efforts of FTK are showcased within their annual Dance Marathon, which is held in the Mullin’s Center this year. Starting at 10 AM on Saturday, April 13th, all the organization’s members will gather there for twelve hours straight to dance and celebrate their fundraising. But the efforts do not end there: money collections will continue throughout the event and contribute towards the total until the very end. As they say, every dollar counts.  

The FTK Morale Team is responsible for making up the dance choreography and to keep all dance marathon participants in high spirits. They are responsible for teaching all FTK’s members the moves and perform at various events, such as sports games, to raise awareness about the organization and Dance Marathon.

Each member within the For the Kids organization has their own story or motive behind getting involved – chances are they themselves or a loved one have been personally affected by a serious child illness that required extensive medical attention. Each fundraising member has their story included in their donor drives and it gives viewers more reason to donate even the smallest amount. Linked here are Abby’s and Nicole’s donor drives!

So do not wait another minute – donate today!

Nicole Stearns and Abigail Kurdin.

 

Images courtesy of author (with permission of owners.)