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Get Your Dance On at Kent State’s Flash-A-Thon

Posted Mar. 25, 2013

The first-ever Flash-A-Thon Dance Marathon will be held at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Saturday, April 6, at 10 a.m. to raise money for the Showers Family Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Akron Children’s Hospital.

The 12-hour dance marathon, where students and other participants stay on their feet from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., is part of the Children’s Miracle Network and will benefit the Hematology and Oncology unit at the hospital.

The event will begin with an opening ceremony that will feature patients who have been treated at Akron Children’s. Families will be invited to share their stories.

“Families will give testimonials about the challenges they’ve faced as they confronted their illnesses,” says Ann Gosky, senior special assistant in Kent State’s Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement and advisor of the Flash-A-Thon program. “The event is a great way to connect our students to the larger community and support efforts to conquer pediatric cancer by providing emotional and financial support to the children, families, researchers and staff of the pediatric oncology department at Akron Children’s Hospital.”ries will motivate the dancers and encourage them to raise money and stand and dance for 12 hours.”

The dance marathon involves different “themed-hours,” beginning with a Disney theme to kick off the event. Additional themes include country, rap, beach and 90s songs. Food, games and musical entertainment from bands and DJs will also be provided to keep participants engaged and having fun.

In addition to the dancing and games, a reflection room will serve as an educational component to the event, where students will be able to learn more about the patients, Akron Children’s Hospital, the Miracle Network and blood cancers.

The Flash-A-Thon is open to individuals and/or teams of any age. There is a $10 registration fee for “dancers” or volunteers that will cover the cost of food at the event and customized T-shirts. Each participant’s fundraising goal is $50, whether they enter as an individual or with a team. There will be awards for the individuals and teams who raise the most money at the dance marathon event.

More than 269 dancers and volunteers are already registered for the event, and more than $5,800 has been raised toward Flash-A-Thon’s end goal of $15,000.

“We’re not only bringing Akron Children’s Hospital and Kent together, but we’re bring the Kent State student life community together,” says Jacqueline Cornell, senior integrated life sciences major and co-president of Flash-A-Thon.

Gosky agrees that dance marathons bring university communities together.

“We’re hoping it becomes a part of Kent State’s culture,” says Gosky.

Dance Marathon is a nationwide movement involving more than 150 colleges and high schools to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network in their communities.

Flash-A-Thon aims to bring together Kent State students and other community members to “dance for the kids who can’t.”

“Dancing brings teams and students together,” Cornell says. “You’re doing this in unison with students all over the country, working to raise money for kids with cancer— something that actually means something to your community.”

Registration is open until the day of the event. To register or learn more about Flash-A-Thon, visit
www.helpmakemiracles.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=1362