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Block 5: The Block Awakens

Nora Shelly and Hangda Zhang

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Sam Schumacher/The Daily Northwestern

Communication sophomore Sofia Kuta dances during Block 5. Dance Marathon announces a new weekend-of fundraiser during the blocks where they are trying to raise $10,000 in 10 hours.

The finance committee announced a new weekend-of fundraising initiative during Block 5 to encourage dancers to keep reaching out and soliciting additional donations.

In contrast to past years when the finance committee took the stage of Dance Marathon at the end of each block, this year’s 30-hour event has not included consistent fundraising total updates. However, during Block 5, finance committee co-chairs Alicia Kranjc, a McCormick senior, and Kayla Brackett, a Weinberg senior, announced the $10,000 in 10 hours campaign.

“We’re really excited about it because in the past we’ve had so much momentum and done so much fundraising leading up to weekend-of,” Brackett said. “We want this to be a celebratory moment but we know there’s so much more that we can do while we’re here.”

For every three messages dancers send to their friends and family with the fundraising link, they will receive a raffle ticket and be entered for prizes including gift certificates to local restaurants.

Block 5, which was themed Star Wars: The Block Awakens, kicked off with performances from NU Drumline, Griffin’s Tale and Deeva Dance Troupe. Daniel Kinch, who participated in DM last year, said that although last year Block 5 was a low point for him, he was still feeling good.

“The drums were kind of unpleasant this early in the morning after not much sleep,” the McCormick and Weinberg junior said, “but it was a good thing, I think, to wake me up and kind of get my second wind.”

Drumline member Kai Kasprick said they were happy to be able help the dancers stay awake.

“It was a little bit low on energy but I think that’s because they were having breakfast sitting down,” the McCormick senior said. “It was just a lot of fun seeing people trying their hardest to stay awake and trying to pump them up.”

The dancers also received motivation from investor and “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran, who showed off some moves in her celebrity video.

“You guys are dancing for a great cause: fighting childhood hunger in America,” she said. “Keep dancing.”

Toward the end of the block, dancers heard from Michelle Cooney, (SESP ‘96 ‘97) the interim principal of Lincoln Elementary in Evanston, where she said 75 out of the 530 students receive food from Blessings in a Backpack, DM’s primary beneficiary.

Cooney, who was part of DM’s executive board when she was a student, said that at first the students were surprised to receive the food at the end of every week, but she had noticed a change in those students on Monday mornings.

“You really do see a difference in their energy and their readiness to learn,” she told The Daily. “It’s subtle but we’ve really watched parents be welcoming to this.”

At the end of the block, the finance committee announced $316,179 had been raised by the half-money deadline in January.

For the rest of our DM coverage, click here.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @noracshelly

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @hangdazhang

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