By Erin Shanahan
Fordham Residents Hall Association (RHA) raised over $60 thousand for the B+ Foundation at the Fordham Dance Marathon (FDM) Saturday, Feb. 27. The amount is approximately $20 thousand more than was raised in 2015 and $30 thousand more than what was earned in 2014. The Fordham Dance Marathon concluded RHA’s philanthropy month, in which RHA held four separate events to raise money for the organization.
The twelve hour marathon began at 11 a.m., and consisted of food, dancing and performances. This was the third annual dance marathon held by Fordham to support B+, an organization that raises money to provide support to families of children with cancer nationwide and fund childhood cancer research,
RHA reached their goal of raising $50 thousand on Friday morning, more than a day before the marathon began.
O’Hare, South, and Loyola Halls donated the most to the organization in comparison to the other residence halls. The top donating team, O’Hare Hall, raised over $8,600 for the B+ Foundation.
“In the last couple hours of FDM, our O’Hare RHA Board realized that O’Hare may have a chance of being the top fundraising team, so we rallied,” said O’Hare’s Vice President, Kelly Sullivan, FCRH ’18. “We are so excited about the total fundraising amount this year and how it will directly help the kids!”
The top five individual donors from Fordham were Troy Hansen, FCRH ’19, Parker O’Shea, FCRH’ 19, David Fiume, FCRH ‘17, Annina Saccomano FCRH ’18, & Justin Loughlin, FCRH ’19. Hansen, a resident of Jogues Hall, raised $1,876.
“I was really motivated to fundraise coming into the last week, because we were so far from our goal,” Hanson said. “I felt driven to fundraise for the foundation, because I love helping other people, especially kids. I just thought that if I really made a push, that everyone else would too.”
Before the fundraiser reveal, Carly Bergstein, program director at The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, spoke to the event attendees.
“What’s super important is that we never loose sight of why we are doing this,” Bergstein said. “While you guys were here dancing today, 46 kids in this country were diagnosed with childhood cancer, but they are going to get some hope because of each and every one of you. We are going to be able to help over one hundred families because of you guys here in this room.”
This year, the dance marathon was the final event in the philanthropy series consisting of the Silent Benefit Auction, the Philanthropy Fair and the Beer Tasting Event. Funds raised from those events were all included in the final sum revealed at FDM.
The marathon took place in the McGinley Ballroom rather than in O’Keefe Commons. “Overall, this is a much more central location, so the turnout was better,” said Executive Vice President of RHA, Emma Bausert.
Several on-campus musical groups attended and performed at the event such as Satin Dolls, B-Sides, 5 AM Fridays, Hot Notes and a special guest, Dime A Dozen from American University. In addition to the acapella groups, the dance troupes Expressions and Slainte performed at FDM.
“We love performing every year for FDM,” said Rocelyn Darce, FCRH ’17, from Slainte. “It’s for such a great cause and we always have so much fun before, during, and after our performance.”
Philanthropy month came to a close with the reveal of the total amount. The top donors as well as RHA executive board members held up the grand total of $61,320.
For Bausert, FDM is the culmination of months of effort.
“It all makes such a difference,” she said. “I want everyone to know that all their efforts – every hour they spent, every email that they sent – is recognized and is appreciated. We could not have done this without them.”