Students prepare for dance-a-thon to help support cancer patients

By Jane Eskildsen

Dimmed lights, music blaring and students dancing are all part of the recipe for a fun-filled evening. To top it off, all proceeds go to a fundraiser for cancer patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The UAHS dance-a-thon, led by junior Megan Brewer and seniors Sarah Heuerman, Hannah Tomaszewski and Kenna Cotterman, will be a night to remember with plenty of dance competitions and activities.

On March 15 from 5-9 p.m., students can join an evening in support of Nationwide Children’s Hospital patients.

Brewer explained that the dance-a-thon should be attended by students in groups of 4-6. Each group collects $100 to donate to the fundraiser. This donation is different than an entry fee.

All the proceeds raised by this event go to a larger fund collected by the BuckeyeThon, an OSU student-run philanthropy project.

The BuckeyeThon works to raise money to support those who are treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Its largest event, held on February 14 and 15, is the annual dance marathon which brings together thousands of OSU students to give their support to kids with cancer.

Individual high schools from around Columbus have established their own dance-a-thons to support BuckeyeThon. They work to spread awareness of pediatric cancer through raising funds to financially support patients at the hospital.

Science teacher and dance-a-thon adviser Frank Tuttle is proud of the students for being self-sufficient and productive throughout the planning of the event. Tuttle thinks the students were able to easily collaborate with the college level project and plan the entire event efficiently.

The student leaders of the event took the opportunity to give back in ways that interested them. This kind of student initiative, as Tuttle explained, is what should be seen more often in the community.

“I am just here as the adult who is nominally in charge, when it is really college and high school level students running the entire thing,” Tuttle said. “They are working together to make this a reality.”

Brewer is inclined to help those in need. For her, the dance-a-thon is the best way to complete community service and get in touch with other activities she is passionate about.

“What got me interested was the fact that all the money goes to help kids with cancer,” Brewer said. “I personally want to continue on in the medical field when I am older…and this would be the best way to get a head start.”

Along with Brewer, Heuerman aspires to be in the medical field. Contributing to community work and closely participating with her chosen path provides a strong advantage for Heuerman’s future.

“A big interest of mine is pediatric oncology because it is so different from the other fields,” Heuerman said. “This is what I am pursuing for my Capstone…and [the dance-a-thon] is just a good way to get in touch with all my interests.”

With all the leaders invested to provide an entertaining evening, the dance-a-thon is highly anticipated among students.

“I think the best part of the dance-a-thon will be the kids getting together and knowing that they are doing something good for the community,” Tuttle said. “Now they are giving back. So often people see students as take, take, take. Now they are given the opportunity to give.”

Image Caption:  The UAHS dance-a-thon will take place on March 15 from 5-9 p.m. All the proceeds will go to cancer patients in need at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Image by: Sasha Dubson