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Block 7: Smells Like School Spirit

Catherine Kim and Jonah Dylan

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Katie Pach/The Daily Northwestern

Coach Chris Collins speaks to the Dance Marathon crowd with members of the basketball team behind him. The team made an appearance days after a buzzer-beating game against Michigan.

As Dance Marathon reached the 20-hour mark, both the football team and the basketball team made an appearance to support the event.

Themed “Smells Like School Spirit,” Block 7 started with several a capella performances as dancers were allowed to sit down while eating lunch. Walking onstage to ’90’s music, coach Pat Fitzgerald led members of the football team onto the stage, including sophomore lineman Tommy Doles wearing a Captain America costume.

“We’re honored to be here to celebrate DM with you guys,” Fitzgerald said. “You make this such a special event.”

Weinberg sophomore Justin Savin said though he felt both mentally and physically tired by the seventh block, the football team’s appearance revived the tired crowd.

“They have so much energy, and they were so into it,” he said. “They’re a fun team and it shows on the field and on when they come and do stuff like this.”

At the end of the block, the finance committee announced that DM had raised $23,046 thus far in the 10-hour fundraising campaign.

Liz Thorne, who takes her child to Gigi’s Playhouse and is a soon-to-be founder of a playhouse branch in Deerfield, spoke during the block to express her gratitude to the participants. Having her son as a “hero” for DM has shown her that kindness can come from the most unexpected places, she said.

“Thank you for setting a model of inclusion and acceptance and for being the change that we all need to see in the world,” she said.

Near the end of the block, dancers watched a video of sophomore center Dererk Pardon’s game-winning buzzer beater from Wednesday’s game against Michigan. After the video, coach Chris Collins led the basketball team to the stage.

Collins, as well as seniors Nathan Taphorn and Sanjay Lumpkin, encouraged dancers to come to tomorrow’s Senior Day game against Purdue. It will be the final game in Welsh-Ryan Arena before it is renovated.

“It’s the last time we’ll get a chance to play in front of you guys before we head into the Big Ten tournament, and then most importantly before we head to the big dance!” Collins said, garnering massive applause.

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Twitter: @ck_525, @thejonahdylan

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