Leading Couple Raises $5,500

Elise Foley

By Elise FoleyThe Daily Northwestern

At 2 a.m. March 3, about 20 Dance Marathon committee members were awake and counting in the Scholars Room at Norris University Center, adding last minute donations to the largest grand total DM has raised to date.

Including product donations, $708,711.20 was raised in the 30-hour marathon, said Jessica Sher, DM finance co-chair and Communication junior. The total was about $22,000 more than last year.

Of the total, $470,030.76 was raised in cash, Sher said. The rest, more than $200,000, was contributed through product donations such as food used by the dancers.

“Every dollar that comes through Norris during DM goes through our room,” Sher said. “Thousands and thousands of dollars are funnelled through that room.”

Most of the money raised for DM was donated to Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, or CURE, a local non-profit that funds epilepsy research, said Julie Braeutigam, DM finance co-chair and Communication senior.

Each spring, DM committee members review applications to select the main recipient of the money raised in the event, Braeutigam said. This year, CURE received 90 percent of the cash total at $423,027.68, she said.

The remaining 10 percent of the cash total was donated to the Evanston Community Foundation, which has been working with the fundraising group for about 10 years, Braeutigam said.

The organization, which funds various improvements in Evanston, was given $47,003.08, Braeutigam said.

The majority of the money is raised through donations given to dancers, who must raise $750 as a couple to participate in the event, Sher said. Other events, such as a silent auction, concert and kids fair also contribute to the total.

Between 3 percent and 5 percent of the cash total is spent on running the event, Sher said. This is lower than most non-profit organizations, whose average is between 10 percent and 15 percent, because so much is donated to the event, she said.

Delta Gamma and Zeta Beta Tau combined to earn the largest group total at about $83,300, said Katherine Veeder, Delta Gamma Director of Fundraising and a Medill junior.

The sorority has a “very intensive” canning schedule and sends letters asking for donations, she said.

“DM is something really important to our sorority,” Veeder said. “A lot of people are involved in the exec board and in committees.”

The group does not aim to be the highest but enjoys contributing to a good cause, Veeder said.

For the second year, sophomores Lilly Hubschman and Joe Bellanca raised the most money at $5,500.

The couple who raise the most money receive a trip to London and Paris courtesy of STA Travel, one of DM’s corporate sponsors, Sher said.

Hubschman said she and Bellanca did not set out to earn the most money. She said they plan to ask STA to donate the trip money to charity instead.

“We just got back from the trip we won last year,” Hubschman said. “We’re hoping to give it back.”

DM was a good way to learn more about epilepsy, Hubschman said. She said the people affected by epilepsy who spoke at DM made her aware of the severity of the disease.

“Just meeting people that are directly affected by what we’re doing is the best part,” Hubschman said.

Reach Elise Foley at [email protected]

To find out more about Dance Marathon ’07, visit http://dailynorthwestern.blogspot.com