15. That’s how many years DanceBlue has made a difference in the lives of the kids and their families in the DanceBlue Clinic. A lot has happened in those 15 years, but the themes that have remained constant have been the laughter, joy, light, comfort, and love that DanceBlue brings to families each day.
My name is Sally Martin and I will be serving as the Overall Chair for DanceBlue 2020. While this position means something different every day, I see it as a way to be the biggest cheerleader for our committee members, teams, high school students, donors, and the kids in the Clinic. From the selection of our new committee to the total fundraising amount revealed at the marathon, I’m honored to see the unparalleled hard work, dedication, and compassion shown by UK students throughout the entire year.
Each year, we start the fundraising efforts to benefit kids across the state of Kentucky who are facing their own unique battle with cancer. In the spring, over 1,000 students at the University of Kentucky will set aside their busy schedules to devote an entire weekend to stand for these kids. At DanceBlue, we dance for hope alongside those still fighting, the reality of grief for those who have passed, and the joyful celebration of those who have won their battle.
Our organization is known for a lot of things: the 24-hour dance marathon, the DanceBlue 5K, Blitz Weeks, Mini-Marathons, and so many other events we put on throughout the year. However, it’s the smaller things we do every day that truly show the heart of this organization. In my 7 years of being involved with DanceBlue in different ways, I’ve encountered thousands of students, family members, faculty/staff, donors, and alumni whose involvement originated in very different ways. We all come from different backgrounds, but we are united under one goal: to fight childhood cancer alongside families.
There are many moving parts involved in DanceBlue, all of which matter tremendously. But, at the end of the day, only one thing matters: the kids. The kids who spend most of their lives at the clinic matter. The kids who don’t get to go to school matter. The kids who miss birthday parties, vacations, sleepovers, and days at the playground matter. The kids who still laugh with a smile on their face despite cancer staring right at them matter.
Until the day comes where we can dance alongside each child in celebration of a cure, we ask you to join us in the fight against pediatric cancer and to help us best serve the kids. Come visit us in our office on campus, participate in one of our many events throughout the year, or reach out to us to find the best way to get involved with DanceBlue. With your help, we can continue to support the kids and the needs of the clinic, while uniting our campus and community.
After the fundraisers, meetings, and marathons are over, DanceBlue means more than a student organization or a philanthropy. It means that these kids have a team cheering them on from the sidelines with a hope for a cure and a fanny pack strapped to their waist. DanceBlue isn’t about you, it isn’t about me, it’s not even about the University of Kentucky. It’s about the kids. It’s For The Kids.