Dance Marathon announces 2016 emcees

Fathma Rahman, Reporter

Dance Marathon introduced Weinberg senior Brad McCandless and SESP junior Sarah Thompson as its 2016 emcees Friday afternoon.

As part of Northwestern’s largest philanthropy event of the year, McCandless and Thompson will lead participants through the 30-hour fundraiser March 4-6 next quarter. This year’s primary beneficiary is Blessings in a Backpack, which sends food to elementary school children over the weekend who would otherwise go hungry. Evanston Community Foundation will be DM’s secondary beneficiary for its 19th year.

Leading up to the event, the emcees will work to promote the fundraiser, attend fundraising parties and interact with DM committees and kids from the beneficiary, said DM spokeswoman Kalli Koukounas.

“They’re really gonna be one of the biggest faces of DM this year,” Koukounas said.

Apart from DM, Thompson is involved with the musical theater dance group Steam Heat Dance Company, serves on the executive board of her sorority and is as a peer adviser. McCandless is finishing his term on the Interfraternity Council executive board in addition to serving on the Senior Year Experience Committee.

“They have a particularly great dynamic and they bring a lot of excitement and care for the beneficiary this year, which is something we really value,” DM spokesman James Keane said.

Though the two said they only hoped and dreamed to serve as the DM emcees, they always knew that this was the role that they wanted to play in the future.

“The most memorable part of DM every year is getting to connect with the (beneficiary families) through speeches, videos, real interactions — and that’s what we do DM for,” McCandless said. “It’s about getting to walk a mile in their shoes for a little while to see their perspective on the cause that we’re helping, and it’s the most humbling and moving part of DM.”

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