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By Joseph Santangelo

NEWBURGH— Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) will host its first dance marathon in school history next month and hopes to draw over 100 participants to the event.

Dance Marathon is an event that invites cured patients from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital to partake in movement based games with the students of MSMC.

The event allows cured patients of the children’s hospital to interact and engage in their community and gives the kids a chance to forget about their illness and act like regular kids for the night.

The event involves active and passive activities that last 20-30 minutes each. Some of the active activities include dancing, various sports, and hula hooping.

The passive activities are completely up to the kids. They can take a 20-minute water break, can partake in face painting or can visit one of the participating club’s tables.

Dance Marathons are held on college campuses throughout the country. The intent of these events is to raise money for a local children’s hospital tied to a Miracle Network. The event is mutually beneficial for the students and kids alike.

The event is being held on the MSMC, all do to the efforts of Daniel Witke, a senior at MSMC. Witke was tasked to execute a senior thesis in order to meet graduation requirements.

“For my final project, I knew I wanted to do something that would give back to the community,” said Witke, who discussed how he worked with Team Impact, a non-profit organization that partners collegiate sport teams with kids that have chronic or terminal illnesses.

Witke was searching for another candidate for Team Impact, when he stumbled across an amazing opportunity to work with the hospital.

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital did not have a candidate that would fit Team Impact, however, they host Dance Marathon’s at different schools and “would love to bring a Dance Marathon to Mount Saint Mary,” said Mary Delaney from the children’s hospital. Witke has been planning the event since his phone call with Delaney in November.

Thanks to Witke’s desire to make an impact, the marathon is expecting a big turnout. The event has already brought in close to $3,000, which was the original goal.

MSMC will be hosting this event on April 29th in Kaplan Gymnasium. All members of the MSMC community are welcome to attend.