Dance Marathon raises $92,449.55, $30,000 more than last year

Jasmine Myers, Staff Writer

Jalon Dowell
University Students dance along to the instructor on the stage during the 2017 Riley Dance Marathon. The Marathon raised $30,000 more than last year, with a total of $92, 449.55.

Athena said she was at the Dance Marathon because she and her mommy support Riley.

Athena spoke with a wide smile and hopes to one day be a student at the university.

At the age of three-years-old, Athena was diagnosed with Petit Mal Seizures, commonly known as “absence seizures.” An absence seizure is a short period of staring into space or “blanking out.” Those periods are caused by abnormal electrical activity in a person’s brain.  

“We have to go to Riley every six months for a neurologist check-ups,” Angie, Athena’s mother says. Absence seizures are common for children between the age four to 14. It is usual for absence seizures to be mistaken for daydreaming or not paying attention.  When people have absence seizures, they are not aware of what is going on around them.

The Southern Indiana Dance Marathon works with the Evansville Community and each other to promote awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network and Riley Hospital for Children. The purpose of the marathon is to raise money to support all the children that are in need.

The marathon began in the afternoon and ended at 11 p.m. In those hours, a grand total of $92,449.55 was raised, which is about $30,000 more than last year.

All the money is being donated to help children like Athena have a normal and healthy childhood.

The marathon is the fastest growing fundraising event program in Indiana. There are more than 60 high schools and collegiate programs.

Zach Price, President of Southern Indiana Dance Marathon, said he thinks every kid deserves a childhood. Zach along with students at USI are fighting to raise money for children like Athena to have the best childhood possible.

“I personally believe that no child or family has to endure what every other family has been going through at Riley,” Price said.

Nursing major Abby Schoenstein has been a part of the Dance Marathon throughout high school and enjoys that this event brings together so many people who all share similar interests.

“It is just cool to see how kids from our community that you might not know that are affected by some type of disease or something that we can help them out.”

The students who danced want to give that chance of life to all children at Riley.

“I had an amazing childhood, and I want kids to be able to go climb on trees and build forts and I want them to be able to go have fun at recess and not worry about how they are going to get their homework done if they are in a hospital bed,” Price said. “And Riley Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital is allowing that to become a reality with the constant research that is being done, and once the research is done at Riley or any Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, it doesn’t just stay there. It goes to all of them so we are not just helping kids at Riley, we are helping kids around the nation.”