The Plainsman previously stated that Fundraise the Roof will be held on Jan. 23 and 24, but the dates are Jan. 22 and 23. We sincerely regret the error.
Auburn University Dance Marathon can be boogying into the new year toward a new goal with the same battle cry: “For the kids!”
AUDM is a student organization committed to raising money and awareness year-round for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, specifically Piedmont Regional of Columbus, Georgia.
On January 22 and 23, AUDM staff and participants will “Fundraise the Roof,” pushing for donations to meet their goal of $90,000 on just Thursday and Friday. Morale, a part of AUDM’s recruitment branch responsible for hype during the main event, is attempting to raise $22,517 over Fundraise the Roof.
“We chose this number because every day, CMN hospitals treat 16,200 kids for trauma injuries, 935 cases of childhood diabetes, 2,128 children with cancer, 2,329 pediatric surgery patients and 925 babies in our NICUs,” said Kaitlyn Conner, AUDM Morale Captain. “All of those numbers add up to our goal — 22,517.”
According to Conner, AUDM participants find creative ways to raise money, including wearing balloons with their personal fundraising goals printed on them. When a member reaches their goal, they triumphantly pop their balloon in celebration.
“Many people stand up in classes, send out GroupMe messages, collect donations downtown, wear silly costumes and even complete crazy fundraising challenges as incentives for their friends, family and classmates to donate,” Conner said.
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Conner said she has been working toward her personal goal for months. She is attempting to raise $5,000 by the Main Event. The proceeds from fundraisers like Conner have been used to build a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Piedmont Regional.
“This facility treats hundreds of premature infants each year who would never be able to survive without the dedicated care of the amazing NICU nurses and doctors,” Conner said. “We, as Auburn students, want to be sure the newly named ‘Miracle NICU’ can keep doing what it does best — working tiny miracles. But to do this, we need help and lots of it.”
Conner said fundraising may be almost over, but it is not too late to join in. Registration for the Main Event is open, and everyone is welcome, regardless of experience.
“Part of what’s so amazing about Main Event is that we will have participants show up Saturday morning with no idea what AUDM is or why they’re there,” said Conner. “They were dragged by a friend or roommate, and they’ve never raised so much as a cent, but when they go home at midnight, they can have raised $1,000 and found a new passion for making a difference.”
To join the 2020 AUDM Main Event, students can find AUDM members on the concourse or learn more on their website during registration week. For a registration fee of $25, Conner said participants will get free food all day, a free T-shirt and 14 hours of fun, including a hypnotist, an obstacle course and a silent disco.
On January 15 and 16, Conner said participants can use the promo code “MADE4THIS” for $5 off of the registration fee.
“The code ‘MADE4THIS’ will be listed on the fliers we pass out this week because we believe everyone on Auburn’s campus was made to be FTK, or ‘For The Kids,’ which is our motto,” Conner said. “Because that’s why we do what we do. At the end of the day, it’s all for the kids.”
According to Conner, the final number for funds raised in 2019 was $502,195.08. By the end of the Main Event on February 15, AUDM hopes to raise even more as part of their pledge to raise $2 million in 5 years to renovate and expand the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Piedmont Regional. At the end of the night, the donation numbers will be revealed onstage.
“Our theme this year is centered around the Auburn Creed and its ‘I believe’ statements,” Conner said. “We fight because we believe. We believe in the future of these kids. We believe in their potential. We believe in giving them a chance to reach their dreams. We believe that we can make a difference.”
During the Main Event, AUDM participants will not sit down for the entire event to show that they “stand” with the kids. Miracle Kids and their families will interact with participants during the event.
“For us, it is a life-changing opportunity to hear firsthand how grateful these families are for our efforts and to see exactly where our money goes,” Conner said. “But for the kids, it’s a fun day to celebrate their triumphs, their journeys and everything that makes them special.”
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