UDance increases fundraising goal to $400K
Published: Monday, November 21, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 04:11
When UDance began in 2007, the organization raised $8,000 to help fight childhood cancer. Since then, fundraising totals have grown exponentially, and the organization set this year's goal at $400,000.
UDance will host its annual 12-hour event in March, in which organizations sponsor a child fighting cancer, known as their "hero," to raise money for cancer research. Proceeds will be donated to the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, founded by Andrew's family.
Andrew passed away from leukemia complications in 2007 at the age of 14. His sister, Ali McDonough, is a senior at the university.
UDance executive board members said they hope between 2,500 and 3,000 people will participate in the event, which includes meeting heroes, dancing and games.
"Those 12 hours are an energetic time," said Eric Oppenheimer, co-executive coordinator of UDance. "If thousands and thousands of people are there it would make the kids feel it more. They feed off our energy and we feed off theirs as well."
While UDance began in partnership with two Greek life organizations, fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon and sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi, today any organization, sports team or individual can donate. Organizations and heroes are matched based on the organizations' fundraising efforts.
UDance members set a goal of reaching 10 percent of their fundraising goal before Thanksgiving break. According to Oppenheimer, the organization has raised approximately 14 percent so far.
Anna Trenga, the canning coordinator for UDance, said setting periodic goals, such as 10 percent before Thanksgiving break, and events the organization attends helped fundraise. As canning coordinator, Trenga directs fundraising taking place at the door of events and other locations, where donors can put change or cash into UDance cans.
"I think when we make more specific, smaller goals it helps us reach our big goal," Trenga said.
UDance members also recently attended a men's hockey game and held fundraisers at several Main Street restaurants, she said.
In addition to the university community, local businesses also contribute to the UDance efforts. Pat's Pizzeria on Elkton Road donates food for certain events and the Studio Green apartment complex holds raffles and makes monetary donations.
This year, Studio Green is also hosting UDance's holiday party on Dec. 4, 100 days before the main event in March. The organization will hold a 5k on The Green, also on the same day, as another fundraising opportunity.
Trenga said smaller campus events are designed to spread awareness about the program.
"The most difficult part about fundraising was getting responses from people who even haven't heard of it," she said.
Trenga said every donation makes a difference, regardless of size.
"If four people give $5 it could give a family enough money to fill up their gas tank to go to the hospital and be with their child," she said.
Oppenheimer agreed, and said participation in the event goes beyond fundraising totals.
"It's more than the money too, it's the support and when you see so many people in the same place who care about the event," he said. "And so many people who attend the event want to get involved after because it's so much more than yourself."