Mississippi College Makes History at Dance Marathon 2021/by Emily-Kate Ford
On April 8, 2021, students at Mississippi College made history by raising $109,500.95 for Children’s of Mississippi. By coming together and thinking of creative ideas to support the cause, MC raised more than any other school its size has ever raised. “This is not cool, this is not awesome, this is history,” said student director Carly Fisher.
Every spring, Mississippi College takes part in a movement called Miracle Network Dance Marathon. Miracle Network Dance Marathon is a movement benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for more than 170 pediatric hospitals across North America. One hundred percent of the funds raised remain local to support kids in that specific area fighting various childhood illnesses.
For Mississippi College, all the funds raised go to support the Children’s of Mississippi Hospital in Jackson. When the MC Dance Marathon began in 2016, Children’s of Mississippi had just started an expansion project that tripled the hospital’s size. The expansion included an in-patient and out-patient clinic, in-patient care rooms, a surgical floor, imaging centers, and two NICU floors. MC’s donations help fund the upgrading of the cancer patient care facilities, two expanded NICU floors, and the new imaging rooms.
With no budget, Mississippi College Dance Marathon relies solely on volunteers and donations. Current students and alumni of MC participate in promoting and raising awareness for the cause and raising money. Students across campus think of creative ways to raise funds. Some sell baked goods, stickers, and even bracelets, while others use social media promotions and word of mouth. Over the years, clubs and tribes at MC have even turned Dance Marathon into a competition. Each group competes to see who can raise the most money for the cause. Different businesses in Clinton have also chipped in. This year, both The Froghead Grill and Arrow Nutrition gave a portion of the profits on specific days to support MC Dance Marathon.
The fundraising season begins to slow down on the night of the actual dance. This year, the dance was held on the night of April 8 in Anderson Hall. From 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. many students, some faculty, and a few patient representatives from the Children’s Hospital, also known as Miracle Children, danced the night away.
Each hour, a different Miracle Child walked down the aisle and shared their story while attendees cheered them on. The kids were represented by a team, represented by colors, composed of both one club and one tribe. Jordan, one of the miracle kids and represented by the blue team, shared his journey with the children’s hospital. Before leaving the stage, though, Jordan was sure to shock the crowd by freestyle rapping. “He sure knows how to bring the place down,” said student Michaela Cooper.
After hearing from the Miracle Children, students had the chance to learn different types of dance styles. From ballroom and salsa to Zumba and swing, attendees had a blast learning new moves. “I particularly enjoyed learning specific moves and techniques while also freestyling and just having a chance to hang out with friends,” attendee Ethan Coats said.
As the 2021 Dance Marathon season comes to a close, MC students look back, knowing that all the hard work and fundraising paid off. As fun and incredible as it was, Mississippi College made history for the kids by uniting together. “It has absolutely changed my life,” said Fisher. “To get to see it bring people together and to life through this pandemic has been an honor.”