Westfield High School senior Julia Clark’s spirits have been uplifted by her role of president for Westfield Dance Marathon.
The Dance Marathon raises money for Riley Hospital for Children and pediatric research.
“To be honest, Dance Marathon has been such a beacon of hope for this year for me, personally,” Clark said. “There have been a lot of negative things in the news along with so much loss that we have witnessed in the past year, but Dance Marathon has become a constant reminder that there is good still happening.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, WHS Dance Marathon is ahead of last year’s fundraising pace. The WHS group raised $96,000 at the February 2020 event, which was held before the pandemic caused a shutdown in March 2020.
The goal for 2021 is $100,000. Clark said the group has raised 60 percent of its goal.
Instead of a longer event indoors, the Westfield Dance Marathon committee will hold a three-hour outdoor event April 17 for students at the high school’s athletic complex.
There will be mask mandates and temperature checks.
“It will be a night full of fundraising, games and, most importantly, Riley families,” Clark said. “They are the true stars of the night and who we do it for,” Clark said. “Throughout the night, we do games, jazzercise, competitions, lots of pie in the face, listening to the families talk about what they went through at Riley and fundraising challenges. Although the event in person is for students only, the community and parents can help by sharing our donation links or donating themselves. Our night wouldn’t be what it is without generous donations from the community.”
Clark said the group is grateful for how much the students and community have stepped up to make our marathon still happen.
“I mean, parents volunteering their time, kids taking their Saturdays to fundraise and go to businesses for sponsors, our teachers taking time they don’t have to help us at our meetings every Friday,” Clark said. “I really have been inspired by our group this year. Even in a pandemic, Westfield High School and the community continue to be (there) for the kids.”
For more or to donate, visit whsdm.org.