Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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DM 2004 leaders named for their spirit, innovation

They were in two different cities, but Justin Ballheim andMargot Bonner received the same congratulatory phone call this weekinforming them they had been named as Dance Marathon 2004 executiveco-chairpersons.

Ballheim, a Medill junior interning at People Magazine in NewYork City, and Bonner, a Weinberg junior, were selected by DM 2003co-chairpersons Zack Hall and Emily Wessel for their enthusiasmfor, work ethic toward and understanding of DM, Hall said.

The duo’s innovative marketing and fund-raising ideas partiallycontributed to Bonner and Ballheim’s selection, he said. Bonnerconvinced Miramax to donate the profits from a free screening ofthe movie “Chicago” to DM, and Ballheim was instrumental in gettingOprah Winfrey to donate prize packages for the silent auction thisyear.

“They really love it to the core,” Hall said.

The two have been active participants in the philanthropy sincethey were freshmen.

Bonner said she learned about DM even before applying tocolleges. As a high school student in England, she noticed thegroup was highlighted in a college guidebook her sister wasreading.

“I remember wondering if that means (NU is) a big party school,”Bonner said.

As a freshman, Bonner volunteered at DM through her sorority,Kappa Kappa Gamma. She served on the public relations committee hersophomore year and served as co-chairwoman of the committee thisyear.

During his freshman year, Ballheim served on the publicrelations committee and 30-hour committee. As a sophomore, Ballheimwas Shepard Residential College’s DM co-chairman and was a memberof the corporate and public relations committees. He served on thepublic relations committee again this year and has danced since hissophomore year.

“I have every intention of living and breathing DM next year,”Ballheim said.

Adam Wu, a Communication senior who worked with Ballheim andBonner on DM Executive Board during his time as alumni relationsco-chairman, also praised the pair’s innovation and enthusiasm.

“(Bonner) really took ideas and thought of ways to accomplishthings outside the box,” Wu said.

He said when Ballheim studied abroad in Paris during FallQuarter, he still e-mailed ideas and words of encouragement.

“Even though he was away from campus, he still brought thatenthusiasm to DM,” Wu said.

Because Ballheim is interning in New York for the quarter, heand Bonner have not been able to meet in person to begin planning.But Ballheim said he will travel to campus at least twice thisquarter for planning sessions, and the two will be in frequentcontact by phone and e-mail.

Bonner said one of her main goals next year will be to expandthe role of volunteering at the selected DM beneficiary.

She and Ballheim both said they are not deeply concerned thatDM’s total proceeds have decreased for consecutive years and thatthey will continue to explore various methods to increase fundraising.

“We will certainly try to exceed this year’s total … but aneven more important goal is to do the best we can and to do thebest this campus can,” Ballheim said.

Wednesday was the deadline for charities to apply to become DM’sprimary beneficiary for next year. Bonner and Ballheim will selectthe charity and announce it by late May.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
DM 2004 leaders named for their spirit, innovation