Eastside, Westside ‘Thons’ Will Overtake Rochester

February 26, 2007

"It’s amazing to see the progress the research has made since we started; the students are proud to be a part of that and want to raise as much as possible to help it to continue."

Rochester teens and pre-teens will boogie on both sides of the city on Friday, March 16, in separate charitable dance marathons that benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong.

Rightfully dubbed the granddaddy of the district’s fundraisers, Brockport High’s 34th annual dance marathon, a 12-hour all-nighter that benefits leukemia research underway at the children’s hospital’s Department of Hematology/Oncology, has raised more than $279,000 to date.

Dancers must collect at least $80 in sponsorship to participate in the 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. event and are warned that they’ll be sore and potentially blistered by the time things wrap up with a check presentation and yearbook photo the next morning.

The marathon hopes to raise $23,000 this year, which would not only be a record annual amount, but would also place the total amount raised since the marathon’s inception in 1974 over the $300,000 mark.

“It’s amazing to see the progress the research has made since we started; the students are proud to be a part of that and want to raise as much as possible to help it to continue,” said the marathon’s committee chair, AnnMarie Hamlin.

On the east side of Rochester, Martha Brown Middle School, Fairport, celebrates its first student-designed Kid-2-Kid dance-a-thon. The fundraiser evolved from a tradition that was started more than 30 years ago, when the school participated in a math-a-thon for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis, Tenn. The middle school had raised more than $250,000 for St. Jude’s over the last few decades, at which point students’ parents began talking about benefiting children a little closer to home.

“We decided that we should keep our fundraising efforts focused right here in the Rochester community,” said Maura Kerkezis, a health education teacher at Martha Brown who helps to organize the event.

Kids in grades seven and eight will dance 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday. Sixth graders will dance during the same hours a day earlier, Thursday, March 15. All dancers will be split into three groups, designated by different colors of hospital admittance bracelets, and will dance for 100 minutes each in order to earn their per-minute or flat pledges.

 “The kids are thrilled about helping others – and about missing some school,” Kerkezis said.

Martha Brown’s Kid-2-Kid fundraiser raised more than $10,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital last year. This year it aims for $15,000.

For more information on Brockport’s dance marathon, call AnnMarie Hamlin at (585) 637-4938; to learn more about Fairport’s, call (585) 421-2065. For information about holding your own dance marathon for Golisano Children’s Hospital, please call (585) 273-5948.

For Media Inquiries:
Becky Jones
(585)275-8490
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