The pandemic continues, but so does the need to fund medical care for children who need help.
This year’s fifth annual Raiderthon Dance Marathon to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network is slated for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central Saturday, Feb. 27. To register, go to https://tinyurl.com/38bacd87.
Previous Raiderthons created a carnival-like in-person atmosphere, but COVID-19 protocols require some changes.
“Raiderthon will be different this year because we’re actually joining forces with the rest of the Middle Tennessee area,” said MTSU Raiderthon President Emily Glass. “It will be 11 schools together in a live stream … Each school will have its own individual hour, and Raiderthon will go first at 10 a.m.”
The other participating universities in the Middle Tennessee area are Vanderbilt, Tennessee Tech and the University of the South. Participating secondary schools include Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee; Nolensville High School in Nolensville, Tennessee; Ravenswood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee; Summit High School in Spring Hill, Tennessee; and St. Cecilia’s Academy, Franklin Road Academy, Montgomery Bell Academy and Ensworth High School, all in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Each school will have its own activities,” said Glass, a senior elementary education major from Dyersburg, Tennessee. “We all create our own morale dance, and Raiderthon’s morale dance will be presented during our hour.”
While previous Raiderthons gave their donations to the Vanderbilt-affiliated Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Nashville, MTSU will submit its donations this year to the Vanderbilt Children’s General Surgery and Clinics, located at 2102 W. Northfield Blvd. in Murfreesboro.
Betsy Dalton, an assistant professor of communication studies and faculty adviser for the event, said making the donations apply locally began last year.
“Otherwise, these are children that have to drive all the way into Nashville and battle the traffic when they could get some of the less complex outpatient services done here locally. The really cool thing is that one of the exam rooms is called the Raiderthon Room.”
During the dance marathon, various “Miracle Families” will have opportunities to tell their stories of how their children were helped by these medical facilities.
“One of the most powerful things about the event is hearing the parents speak about their experiences and how the child became sick and their treatment experiences,” Dalton said. “It brings to life the whole point of the event … and who we’re working to raise money for.”
In fact, students in Dalton’s “Communication in a Nonprofit Organization” class are taking part in Raiderthon to learn more about how such an event functions on the inside.
“It’s a natural fit for them to do some sort of fundraising assignment,” Dalton said.
Each participant will have his or her own Donor Drive account with a personal link to send out from that centralized online platform. To donate without registering, go to https://tinyurl.com/t4u7fj7s. For more information, contact Dalton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Gina K. Logue (email@example.com)