UDance raises record $850,000 to support cancer research efforts
12:53 p.m., March 26, 2014--The University of Delaware’s UDance student organization held a record-setting 12-hour dance marathon on Sunday, March 23, at the Bob Carpenter Center, raising $850,376.75 to support the Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation.
The total far surpassed the $550,000 raised in 2013 and was the largest increase in UDance history.
This was the first year the growing event was held at The Bob, and more than 3,500 people attended. The dance marathon started at 9 a.m. and continued until 9 p.m., when the fundraising total was announced.
The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation was founded by Joe and Chris McDonough after their 14-year-old son Andrew lost his life to leukemia and sepsis in 2007.
Since that time, the foundation has not only been raising money to provide childhood cancer research grants but also providing financial assistance to families who are battling the disease.
Mollie Berner, UDance public relations head, noted that the 2014 event had special significance. “Andrew would have been a senior in college this year,” she said, adding, “Perhaps the coolest part of this year was that some of his classmates and friends served on the 45-member executive board.”
UDance executive coordinators Jill Finfrock and Mike Smyth, both seniors, commented on the banner year and what that means for the University.
"UDance has grown so much these past couple of years, and every year great changes are made in order to further our organization,” Finfrock said. “We ultimately wanted to make UDance part of the culture of Delaware."
"This was a landmark year for UDance in so many ways,” Smyth said. “We are so appreciative of the support from the entire University community. 850,000 reasons to be a proud Blue Hen this week."
Hundreds of participants made UDance a success, including the dancers, “moralers” and volunteers who oversaw various programs.
The Sunday schedule included performers like Jefe, the Dover Drum Line, Training Camp, DRDC and Delaware Dance Fever, and Zumba. Plus, every hour on the hour the executive board performed the "2014 Line Dance."
Masters of ceremonies were Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEPhi) alumna Carly Bergstein and Sigma Phil Epsilon (SigEp) alumnus Brian Levine, which had particular significance as UDance was originally formed by the two organizations.
A special part of the event was Hero Hour, which included the presentation of awards to top individual and team fundraisers and recognition of B+ Heroes – young people battling cancer -- from all organizations.
The top individual fundraiser was AEPhi's Amanda Borelli. The top team fundraisers were AEPhi for sororities and SigEp for fraternities.
AEPhi also received the first-ever Heart of a Champion Award for its continued generosity and fundraising efforts
The last hour was something new, the "Rave Hour," which was much like a concert with every attendee receiving a glow stick
Berner said UDance volunteers are excited to begin planning for 2015 and to “see how much bigger and better we can make it, all for the kids.”
Photos by Evan Krape
Total giving photo courtesy of UDance