I’m officially a Dance Marathon alum at the University of Iowa. I graduate in May and my time as a University of Iowa Dance Marathon dancer has come to an end. It’s a weird feeling. I’ve had my transition meeting, I’ve officially relinquished my DM Gmail account, and for the first time in three years I’m not stressing over leadership interviews that many other students are just beginning to have.
As my time in Iowa City comes to an end, I wanted to write a letter to Dance Marathon – a letter saying thank you.
Dance Marathon does so many wonderful things for the families and kiddos being treated at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospitals. The financial and emotional support that DM provides is incredible. Our families come first. I have seen first hand in my four years and I hope it never changes. It is undeniable that DM does great things for our families and kiddos, but Dance Marathon also does so many things for us, the students involved.
Like many of us, I joined Dance Marathon my freshman year with a group of friends. I didn’t know much about it. Raising $400 seemed daunting and I wasn’t even really sure if I wanted to participate. Little did I know the decision to join would be the best decision I have made during my college career.
I’m the type of person that when I like something, I really like it, when I fall, I fall hard, and I’ve fallen for Dance Marathon. Like many of us, after my first Big Event, DM 18, I knew I had to get more involved.
Four years later, I’ve been a member of the leadership team for two years, a family representative for three, and Dance Marathon has raised a combined $6,701,683.78. Needless to say, I’ve made my fair share of Dance Marathon memories. Dance Marathon will always hold a special place in my heart.
I believe Dance Marathon has made me a better student, a better son, and a better man. I don’t take things for granted. I realize how precious life is. I understand how valuable the relationships we form are. It has pushed me to elevate all parts of my life. I’ve found something I’m passionate about and that is incredibly powerful and valuable. Passion can translate to all areas of your life.
DM has given me the opportunity to meet some of my best friends. For example Dance Marathoners hold the top three spots on my Snapchat. It’s so cool to think about how so many different kids, from different places, all come together for a common cause and are able to accomplish amazing things. I strive everyday to be a better person, partially because sometimes I don’t think I deserve to consider myself on the level of some of the people I have met through this wonderful organization.
I’ve met beautiful, caring women and generous, hardworking men. I’m so proud to have such an amazing circle of friends and I have Dance Marathon to thank for that. I’m confident I’ve met people I will still be in touch with when my kids are participating in DM.
Dance Marathon has kept me busy and has forced me to become a more organized and efficient person. It has shown me that I am supported and always have people around me that are there when I need them. I can’t help but smile when I see my Dance Marathon peers.
I will miss all the late nights in the IMU. I sometimes wonder just how much money I’ve spent in that IMU parking garage. I will miss the retreats, family events, and the fun that is the Big Event. It’s crazy that my time as a student in DM is coming to a close, but I will always continue to be around.
So thank you Dance Marathon. Thank you for everything you do for our families. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. Thank you to our kiddos and their parents. I can only hope to be as strong of a father as the ones I came in contact with the last four years. Thank you to my parents, for their donations and support. Finally, thank you to all the students involved. You have made my experience a great one!
Good luck to the current members of the Dance Marathon 22 leadership team and all the students who will interview for committee positions shortly. I’m sure you will make DM22 a successful one!
I’m excited for what the future holds. I will always keep Dance Marathon close no matter where my life takes me. Lime will always be one of my favorite colors. And I will always consider myself a dancer.
Dance Marathon would like to thank our graduating seniors.
Emma Boehmer, Taylor Bogue, Amanda, Brause, Courtney Brokloff, Matt Cabel, Kayla Caldwell, Julia Cartwright, Ani Danelz, John Davison, Lauren DeBellis, Erin Draminski, Alli Dunklau, Lauren Ellison, Gabe Evans, Bailey Ford, Diana Fornaris, Cailie Furlong, Dana Girard, Mike Guajardo, Jade Hargrafen, Jill Hauer, Emily Hejna, Alex Huffman, Jessica Johnson, Michelle Johnson, Genna Kahn, Ashley Kirvin, Parker Koch, Laurynn Lammers, Erin Larsen, Katherine Marshall, Carrie Mason, Katelyn Meyer, Jake Michael, Shelsey Monroy, Catherine Moore, Eric Mortensen, Gretchen Nichols, Ben Nigg, Makenzie Pick, Jamie Perugini, Robert Poe, Jake Richter, Tierney Rogers, Mattie Schaffer, Allyson Schnoor, Megan Seats, Stephanie Specht, Rachel Spector, Linsey Strittmater, AJ Stork, Madison Traviss, Brian Wall, Drake Wilbur, Hope Wilson, Taylor Yocom
*This list is not all inclusive