That was the amount of money raised last year by the University of Kentucky’s Dance Blue event. Dance Blue is a 24-hour dance marathon run completely by students to raise money for the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and the Golden Matrix Fund. Both of these go to benefit pediatric cancer research and the countless families affected by childhood cancer throughout Kentucky. Jarrett Mynear, a former Jessamine County student, founded the Golden Matrix Fund.
Since 2005, Dance Blue has raised over 5.1 million dollars and is continuing to grow throughout the Commonwealth by smaller events run by high schools called mini-marathons. All fundraising goes directly to UK’s Dance Blue fund to add to their total donation at the end of the year. For the past few years, schools like Lexington Catholic and Woodford County have held their own mini-marathons, pushing total donations past $75,000.
On March 8, 2014, West Jessamine will have a mini-marathon. The event will be a non-stop, 7-hour dance marathon, raising money for Mynear’s Golden Matrix Fund. Students will dance to a new music theme every hour and also learn Dance Blue’s own dance. Along with food and drinks, the event will have t-shirts made and handed out the day of the marathon.
Dancer fees are $40 (the dancer is welcome to give beyond the $40 as well), with a portion going to the t-shirt and the rest going straight to the fund. Donations can be brought in any amount, at any time, as long as it is by February 21, 2014. $40 definitely isn’t a small donation, but West’s Dance Blue committee will be doing school-wide fundraisers (bake sales, penny wars, ribbon sales, restaurant nights, etc.) to help offset dancer costs. There is a limited amount of spots, however, so the event will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
The entire mini-marathon will be built around dance teams. Individual dancers will sign up for a team and give their donations to become a member under the name of the respective team. There will be teams for school organizations like NHS, Beta, tennis and drama where dancers will not only be able to dance with, but also compete against each other leading up to the marathon. There will be three pre-marathon competitions for each team: most money raised, most dancers in one team and most participation in pre-marathon fundraising (more information coming soon). The winner of each competition will be awarded with a trophy right before the “big check” is revealed at the end of the event. For students who don’t have a specific team they’d like to join, the Dance Blue Committee will be having their own team in which they will compete just like any other team would.
The whole idea behind this event is to help the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Jarrett’s Golden Matrix Fund. The organization is centered on the idea that students can make a massive impact on children suffering through such an awful disease, and that is what Dance Blue is, an impact. It’s all For The Kids. FTK!
Look forward to an assembly regarding the event soon.