Passion runs deep within the staff of Auburn University’s Dance Marathon.
With their seventh Main Event just a month away, the AUDM staff have high hopes to reach their fundraising goal of $658,000 to honor the 658 children who receive surgery at the hospital yearly.
Staff and volunteers for AUDM feel such passion towards the children benefitted that they’ll do just about anything to raise their fundraising goals.
Condra Lea Carter, sophomore in pre-media studies serving on the morale staff, exhibited such passion this year.
Carter’s Dance Marathon involvement began her freshman year when she saw a friend of her older sister post about it on social media. When she signed up, Carter said she thought she’d show up for a few hours then leave.
“I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” Carter said. “I walked in with only forty dollars for my fundraising.”
However, Dance Marathon moved Carter, who ultimately raised $400 during the 14-hour Main Event.
“All you want to do is stay longer and be with the kids you’re helping,” Carter said. “You get to meet them, hear their stories, meet their families.”
When reflecting on her experience with AUDM, Carter said her favorite part was hearing the stories.
“We play the Olympic theme song and have them come down one by one to share their stories,” Carter said. “You hear what they were, what they’ve come to be, and what they want to be thanks to all that we do with our fundraising, that changed me.”
This year, Carter serves on staff and had a fundraising goal of $1,000, which she raised to $2,000 after hitting her goal in the month of November during her 48-hour push.
In order to reach her fundraising goal, Carter said she did a list of crazy endeavors, including rapping the song “Ice Ice Baby” in front of her largest class, a polar plunge in a neighbor’s pool after finals week, attempting to ask Jarrett Stidham to her formal and dying her hair dark blue for Main Event.
“Originally I wanted to dye my hair as bright blue as I could, but I realized it wouldn’t come out easily and blue hair is not very receptive
After deciding dark blue as her choice, Carter added she will use different products to make her ends brighter for the Main Event.
“Everyone does something different,” Carter said. “Some do letter campaigns, others do social media campaigns, but it’s fun and we have fun with all of these because we know that it’s going to the kids.”
This year’s goal is over $100,000 more than last year’s total. AUDM is a year-long fundraising effort benefitting the Children’s Hospital at Midtown Medical Center at Columbus Regional Health.
The year-long event culminates in a 14-hour dance marathon known as Main Event on Feb. 10.
The Auburn Dance Marathon hosts an hour-long “Iron Bowl” against the University of Alabama to see who can raise the most money. Last year, Auburn won and rolled the entire room.
Carter said the passion and dedication of college students on a national level prove that this generation is one that fights for the next.
She said AUDM and all Dance Marathon chapters want to show that college kids care about others, especially the generation below them.
Due to the large national growth, Auburn Dance Marathon hopes to push its way to become one of the top fundraising chapters.
“That’s what it’s all about, the kids,” Carter said. “We’ll do anything to help them.”