Dancers get creative with last-minute fundraising

Participants in Dance Marathon are searching for ways to fundraise at the last minute before DM begins Friday. Last year’s DM raised a total of $1,214,632, with $741,394.10 going to the Danny Did Foundation and $82,377.12 to the Evanston Community Foundation.

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Participants in Dance Marathon are searching for ways to fundraise at the last minute before DM begins Friday. Last year’s DM raised a total of $1,214,632, with $741,394.10 going to the Danny Did Foundation and $82,377.12 to the Evanston Community Foundation.

Annie Bruce, Reporter

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Even though the $400 full-money deadline has passed, students are still fundraising for Team Joseph before Dance Marathon begins Friday with last-push efforts including friendship bracelets and massages.

Weinberg senior Brian Zhou decided to get others to bet against him by coming up with a weight-lifting goal for himself called The Bro-Challenge.

“I’ve never really done fundraising before, so I’m not that familiar with creative ways of raising money,” Zhou said. “I got interested in weight training Spring Quarter of last year, and I thought it may be a good idea to combine those two goals together.”

By attending a Facebook event Zhou created, students committed to a $5 pledge. If Zhou was able to bench a five-repetition maximum of 230 pounds before DM, students would pay up. Before his training began, he was able to bench a five-repetition maximum of 185 pounds, according to his website.

To add some extra incentive, if Zhou was unable to meet the goal, students still donate the money they pledged, but Zhou would have to do two chores — ranging from cleaning the bathroom to folding laundry — for everyone who donated.

Zhou was able to complete his goal and raised about $130. The hardest part of the experience was eating enough food to gain strength, he said.

“When you want to essentially get big, you have to go through cycles of training, which involves going through a long period of intaking a lot in terms of food and trying to hit really, really heavy weights to gain size,” he said. “I’m basically eating almost every three hours and decently sized meals too.”

A first-time DM participant, Zhou is dancing with All Cultural Effect, a collaboration of several NU cultural organizations and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

“When you go through college, there’s always a couple of things you want to be proud of doing,” Zhou said. “It’s good to know that we can make an impact outside while we’re in college.”

Weinberg sophomore Jennifer Li is also participating in DM for the first time. She decided to make friendship bracelets to reach her fundraising goal. Li has received orders for about 30 bracelets so far.

“It feels the best to make your own money to go towards DM,” she said. “I’ve made friendship bracelets in the past … and I figured it was a unique way to make money.”

In order to spread the word, she tried to target smaller NU communities to sign up online to buy a $3 bracelet. Li hopes that people will wear the bracelets during the event.

Emily Blumberg, DM special events co-chair, challenged members of her sorority, Delta Gamma, to raise an additional $100 this week.

“For a lot of people, the fundraising slows down a little bit between now and DM,” the Weinberg senior said. “I think it was a reminder that you have seven days left and that’s a lot of time.”

In an email, Blumberg suggested that members of DG refrain from eating out one night this week and put the additional money toward DM, give massages or run errands for others.

“Every dollar counts, and I think that was kind of the message I was trying to get across,” Blumberg said. “It wasn’t mandatory by any means. It was more a way to get everyone excited and do that last final push.”

DM spokesman David Harris said he is always impressed to hear about different ways people fundraise.  Though the full-money deadline has passed, Harris said as long as students have $400 in their account at Friday check-in, they will be able to participate.

Harris, a SESP senior, listed a couple of creative fundraising ideas he heard about, including knitting scarves and making a calendar with pictures of themselves.

“Fundraising can be time consuming, but we’re so grateful for the enthusiasm that dancers bring to it,” he said. “It’s a community uniting for a cause that is so important, and the feeling that exists in the tent during those 30 hours, especially towards the end, is something more magical than I’ve ever experienced.”

Twitter: @anniefb13