By Jenny Earl

“I dance for more smiles.” – Jeff Kemp

In order to see the smiling faces of families and dancers at University of Iowa Dance Marathon’s Big Event, Jeff Kemp needs to meet his fundraising goal.

But with a little bit of motivation and help from friends, family, and his new job, Kemp has already surpassed the minimum amount needed to participate.

With a goal of $2,000, Kemp has already raised $911.

“I’ve got a ways to go,” he said.

Sending letters to his family’s entire address book is one way Kemp plans to raise the rest of the money.

“For me everyone is getting a letter,” he said. “If my parents have an address its fair game in my eyes.”

In addition to letter writing, Kemp will use his job at U.S. Cellular to match his gifts. U.S. Cellular matches up to $2,500 a year.

matching gift, or matching donation is a charitable gift made toward a non-profit organization by a matching donor (employer) under the provision that an original donor (employee) first makes a gift toward that organization.

In addition, Kemp is selling sunglasses, with profits going toward Dance Marathon. The sunglasses are $10 and hawkeye themed.

Hoping others will follow in his lead, Kemp is not only a role model for all dancers, but also a specific group who looks up to him.

After being a dancer for two years, the now 20-year-old junior has joined the leadership team as a Morale Captain.

“Being a Morale Captain is truely amazing,” said Kemp. “The pressure of getting dancers to the Big Event and to raise the money is great, but you learn to handle it.”

Kemp said that Dance Marathon makes you apart of something bigger than yourself.

He hopes that others will graduate college knowing they left something behind.

“The bottom line is I’m involved to make a difference in these kids lives and so far I think I’m getting there,” said Kemp.

Sunglasses: $10
Sunglasses: $10

If you would like to buy a pair of sunglasses, please email Kemp at


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