Dancing for a Cause: Columbia University Dance Marathon
New York City
February 1, 2011
Like repeating the steps of a favorite dance routine, every year for the past 11 years, Columbia University students have come together to participate in the annual Columbia University Dance Marathon.
Columbia Dance Marathon Committee Chairs with Nigel
Barker (center, red shirt), and Connor Paolo (second from
right, white t-shirt.). (Photo: EGPAF)
During this 18-hour dance party, participants raise funds to support the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Over the weekend, more than 170 dancers raised nearly $50,000 to support the Foundation’s mission to eliminate pediatric AIDS.
Highlights for dancers were appearances by Foundation celebrity Ambassadors Nigel Barker and Connor Paolo – from America’s Next Top Model and Gossip Girl – who together opened the event and congratulated the students for their commitment to the Foundation and its important work around the world.
Jake Glaser, son of Elizabeth Glaser, also shared his personal story of living with HIV, reminding the students that their participation was changing the lives of thousands of children and families.
The night was a huge success, and thanks are due to the many organizations and community members who supported our dancers in their pledge to help children and families affected by HIV and AIDS:
- Honest Tea
- Food Should Taste Good
- Broadway Cares
- Student Governing Board
And additional thanks to all of our other local businesses for your incredible support. Our dancers were fed, energized, and happy throughout the event. Because of you, our impact is greater.
Group dance at the 2011 Columbia University
Dance Marathon. (Photo: EGPAF)
Thank you to the steering committee for a year’s worth of meetings, emails, headaches, and stress to create a successful event that lasts a fraction of the time required to plan it. Your loyalty and dedication are inspiring.
The biggest thank you should be given to the student dancers themselves. Thank you for giving 18 hours of your weekend to this amazing cause. Thank you for introducing the Foundation to the family and friends who supported us.
You didn’t just dance – your efforts educated a community about pediatric AIDS, and created new advocates and supporters in the fight to keep children and families healthy.
Because of our efforts over the past 11 years, the Columbia University Dance Marathon and its supporters have raised more than $500,000 for the Foundation.
This year, our nearly $50,000 contribution could help more than 3,300 HIV-positive women around the world deliver healthy babies. That’s 3,300 lives saved, and one step closer to the elimination of pediatric AIDS.
I look forward to the possibilities and promise of elimination that participating students can bring next year!
Rachel Farber is a senior at Columbia University and a co-chair of the Columbia University Dance Marathon steering committee.