Resourceful fund-raisers prove mettle

Janette Neuwahl

If the 500 Dance Marathon dancers have their way, Britney Spears may soon have some competition from Raymond Lee.

The Speech sophomore was one of several participants who recounted his canning experiences at Dance Marathon. But Lee didn’t just tell his story of raising funds for Friends for Steven by performing Britney’s songs on Michigan Avenue for donations. Instead, he demonstrated his moves to “Oops … I Did It Again” for the cheering, whistling crowd.

“Performing on stage was probably one of the most surreal, coolest experiences I’ve had at Northwestern,” Lee said. “I thought people would find my story corny but I just did it and I’m glad I could entertain the other DM dancers.”

Lee’s performance was one of the more amusing – and entertaining – canning stories described by emcees Robbie Paymer and David Sears throughout Dance Marathon.

Paymer said the emcees tried to shift the focus from their goofy antics to spotlight the dancers’ efforts.

“We wanted to find a way to access all the talent in the crowd,” said Paymer, a Weinberg senior. “One of the big things about DM is that people come from all parts of campus, so we wanted to show all types of talent and the stories were a part of that.”

Sears said he hoped sharing canning stories would create a stronger community of dancers.

One story detailed freshmen Donnie Maley and Joe Curnow’s attempts to raise money outside an NU football game. Trying to solicit donations from the football fans, they encountered Scott Sagerman, DM’s liaison to Friends for Steven, and his son Daniel, a neuroblastoma survivor, who were attending the game.

Not knowing what Sagerman looked like or his connection to DM, Maley and Curnow asked for a donation. Sagerman and his son smiled and then gladly donated, they said.

“It was so … awesome, especially having seen the family more and more throughout the course of DM,” said Curnow, an Education freshman.

Music senior Becca Pascal also had an entertaining canning experience, as flight delays and layovers caused confusion at the airport while she was fund raising for DM by playing her viola. Pascal ended up boarding a wrong plane, which took her to Tennessee instead of her Michigan destination.