Since bid-day at the end of September, I had been hearing about NYDM, or the Dance Marathon at NYU. “It’s 12 hours straight of dancing!” and “it’s so much fun to dance in it, you have to go!” I didn’t really know what it was, except this fun event where you dance for 12 hours straight to fundraise for something. Next thing I knew, sign-ups were going out and I read that we would get ZTA fanny packs. Sign me up, I thought. Free fanny packs and dancing for 12 hours just to raise money? It seemed easy. Flash forward to the 11th hour and 55th minute of dancing and I realized two things: dancing for 12 hours is not as easy as it seems, and everyone was right, NYDM was a blast!
A few weeks before the Dance Marathon, Joe McDonough, founder of the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, spoke to us about what we were fundraising for. I hadn’t thought much about it, other than that our donations were going toward children with cancer. The B+ Foundation (Be Positive) was founded after Joe McDonough’s son, Andrew McDonough passed away from cancer at the young age of 14. What I learned was that only 5% of all money raised for cancer research goes toward childhood cancer. Only 5%! There are 12 major types of childhood cancer and 46 children get diagnosed with one of those types every school day. The B+ Foundation uses its fundraised money to help families who cannot afford treatment or sometimes (seemingly little) things such as paying $300 for a child’s oxygen tank for a flight back home. NYU’s greek life has paired with the B+ Foundation not only to have the Dance Marathon, but also to each take on a B+ Hero, a child that each Chapter has sort-of adopted as a younger member. Zeta Tau Alpha’s hero is Christina whom we give gifts to, write cards to, and even had a member take to the Broadway show, Matilda.
At 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning of the Marathon, all of the dancers arrived. We would have 30 minutes until we needed to be on our feet for 12 hours straight (although I won’t lie, we cheated a bit). At 9 a.m. we all got up on our feet and started dancing to the music! Each hour had a different theme, and the music and even food would mirror that theme. There was American Pride hour, Disney hour, Superhero hour, and ended with Rave hour. Every hour there was different food being offered; pizza, french fries, Indian food, pad thai, donuts, cupcakes, tacos, Insomnia cookies, etc. All of it was yummy, and even better it was free! Without the good music, the 12 hours would have been a lot harder. Every hour on the hour, we participated in the Line Dance, which was a pre-choreographed dance. By the 12th time however, we had the dance moves memorized and almost perfected. There were vendors that sold little crafts, such as cute Big-Little bracelets. Overall, NYDM was extremely fun and was a good way to bond not only within my own Chapter but also outside of it too!
I am proud to say that Zeta Tau Alpha raised over $24,000 and I would like to personally thank all of those who helped us by donating. Without you, ZTA would not have been able to increase last year’s amount raised sixfold. Without you, NYU would not have raised $252,757.68 for the kids. Thank you!
To learn more about the Andrew McDonough B+ foundation: http://www.bepositive.org