FDM Surpasses $100,000 in Fifth Annual Fundraiser

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FDM Surpasses $100,000 in Fifth Annual Fundraiser

FDM surpassed its goal of $100,000 when it raised $101,643.44 for childhood cancer. (Courtesy of Kevin Stoltenborg)

FDM surpassed its goal of $100,000 when it raised $101,643.44 for childhood cancer. (Courtesy of Kevin Stoltenborg)

FDM surpassed its goal of $100,000 when it raised $101,643.44 for childhood cancer. (Courtesy of Kevin Stoltenborg)

FDM surpassed its goal of $100,000 when it raised $101,643.44 for childhood cancer. (Courtesy of Kevin Stoltenborg)

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By Aislinn Keely

FDM surpassed its goal of $100,000 when it raised $101,643.44 for childhood cancer. (Kevin Stoltenborg/The Fordham Ram)

Fordham Dance Marathon (FDM) surpassed a long-awaited milestone last Friday by raising over $100,000 for The Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation. Confetti rained on the FDM organizers as they hoisted posters revealing a final total of $101,643.44 raised for childhood cancer.

Organizers set the goal of $100,000 early in the fundraising process, incentivizing people to be part of a record year. The goal was broken during the marathon itself, according to Claire Polacheck, FCRH ’19, vice president of Residence Halls Association (RHA) and executive director of FDM.

It is traditional to freeze the donation percentage before the start of the dance marathon, according to Polacheck. On Wednesday night, FDM had reached 80 percent of its goal. By the morning of the marathon, the group still had $10,000 to raise to reach the $100,000 mark.

Polacheck said she grew nervous at the size of the task as March 9 approached, but felt confident it could be achieved.

“After a phenomenal fundraising push by our RHA and committee during the event, we felt relatively confident that we would hit the goal by late afternoon,” she said.

Polacheck said she cannot be sure when the group surpassed the mark due to an FDM tradition.

“It is also tradition that the director and most of the chairs holding the numbers do not know the final total before the reveal, so I don’t know when exactly we hit it,” she said.

During the marathon, various Fordham groups performed, including Flava and Fordham Experimental Theatre Stand Up Comedy. However, headlining talent Chiddy Bang and Saen brought in the most attention, according to JC Evans, an entertainment chair of FDM.

All performances were donated to the cause aside from Chiddy Bang, according to Evans. He said FDM chose Chiddy to headline because of his historical success, positive message, availability and the agreed price. Evans said booking a hip-hop act was important to the group.

“Also, a priority of ours was to book a well-known hip-hop act, as this is the most popular genre in the world for our generation, but has not been represented on Fordham’s campus in a very long time,” said Evans.

Chiddy Bang’s performance included songs like “Opposite of Adults” and “Mind Your Manners.” Twice during his set, he mentioned receiving rejection letters from Fordham when he applied as a student.

“I didn’t get in, but I’m here with y’all today,” he said.

During a freestyle rap, Chiddy included the line, “Got rejected, now doing shows at Fordham.”

Evans said he did not know Chiddy Bang had previously applied to Fordham when he made the booking, but that the rapper mentioned this to him in the car ride to the dance marathon.

“It was funny because he sounded kinda bitter, but it was all love,” he said.

FDM “heroes,” children fighting pediatric cancer, attended the event as well. They could be seen dancing and playing with Fordham athletes and FDM organizers early in the evening.

Meghan Keough, GSB ’20, and Emma Budd, FCRH ’20, said they found it endearing the way the children got to interact with the Fordham community.

“It’s so great that they bring some of the kids here so they can hang out with the athletes and see that everybody is here to support them,” she Keough.

“It was very cute,” said Budd.

Both Budd and Keough said they attended to support their roommate, Julia Townsend, GSB ’20, a hospitality chair for FDM.

Townsend said preparation for the event began last April. A full year of planning and coordinating catering required a lot of emails, according to Townsend.

Restaurants like Pugsley’s Pizza, Cava Grill and Burger Lodge donated food to the event. Townsend said a lot went in to locking down catering donations.

“You’re trying a lot to get a little, but usually once you get a positive response they’re really willing to help,” she said.

The FDM goal has increased every year since its establishment, according to Polacheck. The goal is set by the incoming director.

“Our goal has increased every year, and I expect next year to follow the same trend,” she said.

Funds can still be donated, and have been, according to Polacheck. Since the total was revealed, FDM has raised an additional $2,000. The current total is over $103,000.