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ISU to combat cancer with dance once again

Looking for a way to give back to the community while getting fit and having fun? ISU’s second annual Dance Marathon will be held from 12 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 at McCormick Hall in the Student Fitness Center.

Dance Marathon is a student run organization that raises money for the Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria. There are Dance Marathon groups throughout the nation, each benefitting a children’s hospital close to them.

Senior Chelsea Gutchewsky started the ISU group with some friends last year after transferring to ISU.

She had previously been involved with the organization’s University of Iowa group during her first two years of college.

“Iowa’s event was 24 hours — no sitting, no sleeping, no caffeine. It sounds miserable, I know. But I can honestly say that it was one of the most inspirational 24 hours of my life,” Gutchewsky said.

What she found most inspiring was meeting some of the children from the hospital.

“Even though most of them had spent a majority of their childhood in the hospital, they were the happiest kids I have ever met,” she added.

After transferring to ISU last year, Gutchewsky was disappointed to find that ISU didn’t have a Dance Marathon group. She and a few friends took matters into their own hands.

“We contacted faculty from Dance Marathon organizations in other states, faculty from ISU, faculty from the Children’s Hospital, families involved with the Children’s Miracle Network…”

“It was a lot of work considering we really had nothing to work with, but it was still extremely worth it and I am so happy that I, along with all of the other students involved, never gave up on it,” Gutchewsky said.

At last year’s premiere event, about 55 students participated and raised over $6,000.

In addition to plenty of dancing, the event this year will include performances by dance teams, cheer teams and bands.   A DJ, games, free food, and visits from families and children that have been involved with the Children’s Hospital in the past will also be stopping by throughout the day to tell their stories.

Students can register up until the day of the event at www.helpmakemiracles.org/event/dancemarathonilstu/. There is a registration fee of $20, which will go to the hospital. Students are encouraged to raise $100, but it is not mandatory. Students who register will also receive a free Dance Marathon T-shirt.

For more information, contact Chelsea Gutchewsky at cngutch@ilstu.edu or visit the organization’s Facebook page, Illinois State University Dance Marathon.

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