CHS to Host First Mini-VictorThon


University of Michigan’s 2018 VictorThon

Eight hours of nonstop dancing for students will be held in gymnasium at CHS in an effort to fundraise for pediatric rehabilitation at Motts Children’s Hospital.

The cost will be $25 per student and participants will receive a T-shirt. Food will also be provided.

The official date of the dancing fundraiser, known as the Mini-VictorThon, is the last day of the Winter Trimester–Friday, March 8, beginning at midnight and ending at 8am on Saturday, March 9.

All the funds raised through the Mini-VictorThon go towards different therapies at Motts Children’s Hospital so that children with disabilities and different therapeutic needs can get the help they need. Dr. Beth Riske-Rogers, the Outpatient Pediatric PT, OT, TR Supervisor of Michigan Health System, explained that the variety of therapies offered helps kids get their lives back to normal.

“It’s [the therapy] getting those kiddos back to real life and helping them explore recreational opportunities like bowling or petting a cat or drawing a beautiful picture for their parents,” Dr. Riske-Rodgers said.

For eight hours, participants of the Mini-VictorThon are expected to stay on their feet. Student Council Adviser Mr. Schilt has participated in four similar events during his time at the University of Kentucky, which ran for 24 hours straight. He explained that it is easier than one would think to stay standing for so long.

“It doesn’t seem like it is possible to stand on your feet for eight hours and go through that, but it really is and it’s manageable,” he said.

The marathon is meant to represent that though it might seem like a struggle to stand and dance for eight hours, it doesn’t compare to the countless hours children and the families of the children with special therapeutic needs and life threatening diseases spend struggling to get their lives back to normal.

Schilt described the atmosphere of a dance marathon as “electric” and shared how he thinks the community can get the dance marathon at CHS to be as “buzzing” and “intense” as Dance Blue.

“In order to make it fun and for the atmosphere to feel the same way, we need a lot of dancers,” he said. “We are really hoping that—although you have to raise [$25] to dance—the student body is really excited about that and will get engaged and that we’ll have a lot of dancers on the floor and make it that kind of event.”

Jacqueline Taylor, current senior and Student Council Event Chair, has spent time with some of the kids involved in the the therapy at Motts. She explained that her experiences with the kids drive her towards doing what she can and helping us do what we can do as a school and community to help the kids.

“Meeting the people and realizing that they are just like you, but they have a million more things to deal or work with, is really pushing me to satisfy their needs and make them feel like they are like anyone else, even though they have to live with these disabilities and rehabilitate,” Taylor said.

Taylor and Schilt said that Dexter and other schools in the area have hosted Mini-VictorThons. However, they said that CHS’s will be the longest in hours and aims to raise 50-75% as much money as the other schools have raised all together.

“[Student Council] saw that, combined, the other dance marathons raise about $20,000—which is awesome—but our goal is to raise $10,000-$15,000 ourselves,” Schilt said.

Taylor explained that these goals are set so high to help the school and community make a big impact.

“We’re going big and we’re hoping to make a big difference and make a lot of money for these kids to benefit them,” she said. “That’s kind of our goal.”

Both Taylor and Schilt agreed that to reach these goals a lot of student participation, and local business sponsorship is needed. This also means all of the money raised goes straight to the cause and none goes toward Student Council.

“In order for [raising the set goal] to happen we really need student engagement, but we also have to get the community involved and get businesses to donate,” Schilt said. “We think this is a really worthy cause, and that’s why every single dollar that we raise for this event is going straight to [University of Michigan] and to Motts Children’s Hospital. We are not keeping any of it for Student Council.”

When the plans for the Mini-VictorThon were released to the student body on Friday, December 21, Student Council members explained that they decided on this fundraiser because they thought it would be fun way to get the whole student body involved for a close-to-home cause. Mr. Schilt also explained that they were looking to switch things up.

“[Student Council] was looking for another charity to support. It felt like over the years that what Student Council was doing was just writing a check to the charity it’d support—which is a good thing—but it didn’t really get the entire student body involved in what Council was doing.”

Kids and the families of kids partaking in the therapies supported with the dance are invited to attend. The money raised will be presented in giant check form to them towards the end of the event.

“We’ll present [the check] to them, and we dance with the kids,” Taylor said. “It’s really cool.”

There will be different themes of music and dances to create one big dance to perform together at the end. There will also be elements of the class versus class rivalry that goes on between different grade levels at CHS.

“Each hour there will be a theme and that theme will have game competitions in it and you’re trying to win all the games so that your team [your class] can get the most points,” Taylor explained.

She went on to say that this event is a unique and great opportunity to give back to the community and feel good about it while having fun and making memories.

“I think [participating in the Danceathon] will really make you just feel good about yourself,” Taylor said. “It gives you a great feeling and it will really just be a good time dancing. Like eight hours? No one does that! That’s crazy! And I feel like it’s one of those things where if you don’t partake in this in your high school career, you’ll regret it. I think it is really awesome and I think as many people that are able to should come, it’ll be a great time.”

School staff, community members, and students who don’t want to dance but still would like to participate can get involved by donating, chaperoning, and helping run the event. However, students willing to stand and dance is what makes this fundraiser a danceathon. Many dancers will need to participate in order for the Mini-VictorThon to go as planned.

“In order for this to get off the ground and to make this the biggest event possible, we have to get everybody on board,” Schilt said. “So, if you are on the fence about dancing or you feel like [$25] is a lot to raise, just keep in mind that your teachers, your community members, [and] your family members…are probably willing to support you in raising that much money. So try and join us.”