Dance Marathon at Baldwin-Wallace College: A Reflection

Dance Marathon is a fundraiser unlike any other at Baldwin-Wallace; since its debut in 2001, the B-W Dance Marathon has raised over $197,000 in support of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. On this past Saturday February 25th, DM in its eleventh year surpasses our longtime goal of $30,000 by raising $36,819.25! There were a total of 112 dancers pledging 12 hours of continuous dancing from noon to midnight.

This year we were very excited to have Jake Glaser, son of Paul Michael and Elizabeth Glaser, come to Dance Marathon. Everyone enjoyed meeting him and was grateful that he took the time to come to B-W.

Dance Marathon this year was a huge success. Energy was positive throughout the whole day; we ate great food and danced to awesome music and heard from speakers living with AIDS. Being able to see this event from start to finish and be a part of something that saves lives makes a big impact. When the total amount raised was revealed it was amazing and inspiring to see everyone cheering and applauding knowing we achieved our goal and more.

In between learning dances taught by morale, we had Zumba dancers and line dancers dancing with us along with Irish step. Disney Classics and Club DM were also a big hit with all the dancers.

Each dancer group represented a country that EGPAF is currently in helping to end pediatric AIDS. Every group learned about their country and presented facts to the whole marathon. Countries represented were Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Swaziland, and Lesotho.

For the first time B-W also hosted the AIDS Memorial Quilt on Thursday and Friday before the marathon. We received nine pieces to raise awareness for the fight against the global AIDS pandemic. The quilt has been on display all across the nation and includes more than 82,838 names of people who have died because of AIDS. The Quilt was conceived in 1985 by gay rights activist Cleve Jones. The NAMES Project Foundation is now in charge of maintaining, displaying and adding to the quilt. Since its inception their goals are to provide a creative means for remembrance and healing, effectively illustrate the AIDS epidemic, increase the public’s awareness of HIV/AIDS, assist others with HIV infection-prevention education and raise funds for community-based AIDS service organizations.

Laura Roads is a student at Baldwin-Wallace College who participated in the school's 2012 Dance Marathon benefiting the Foundation.