While scrolling through your social media, you may see an abundance of students asking for donations for DanceBlue. When you see these posts, it is important to understand why college students ask everyone they know to donate to this organization. In my three years of being on the DanceBlue Committee, I have seen students ask for donations in lieu of birthday presents, donate from their own savings, give up Sundays to knock on neighborhood doors to solicit money, and skip social events with their friends to donate money instead. This is just the beginning of the magic that is DanceBlue- the fact that there are students that are so selfless and willing to give up a part of themselves to help the kids that they may never meet. 

DanceBlue is so much more than the dollar amount held up at The Reveal. It is the love, it is the hope, and it is the support between the kids, their families, and students. It is about the kids getting to be kids during one of the hardest times in their lives and having college students who are willing to be silly and have tea parties with them at the clinic. It is about coming together as a community to bring about change that is bigger than one’s self. That being said, without the money donated, we could not even hope to provide for the kids at the level that we do now. Cancer is expensive and draining, and one of the most concrete ways that we can help the kids is to raise the funds that we do to get them the best possible care and ease the financial burden on their families.

DanceBlue means a multitude of different things to me, it is an organization that has changed my life in more ways than I could ever put into words. It is a celebration. A celebration of these kids and the lives they have to live. A celebration of how far they’ve come, whether they were diagnosed yesterday or are in remission for a third year. A celebration to honor every bell ring, signifying another victory. A celebration of their perseverance and positive attitudes because they know they are bigger than this cruel disease. These kids need to know that having cancer doesn’t define them. This is best personified by Reilly Butler’s declaration, “I have cancer. Cancer doesn’t have me.” It has been over a year since I heard Reilly say these powerful words and they still resonate with me. This statement embodies the optimistic outlook that all of these kids have on the menace that is cancer. They refuse to let it steal their joy, and we are here, standing in their corner every step of the way.

As the Fundraising Chair, I am responsible for tracking all the donations made to DanceBlue as well as organizing various fundraisers throughout the year where DanceBlue gets a percentage of proceeds back. I have two wonderful coordinators who make it possible for me to keep track of donations, hold canning events, collaborate with businesses, and communicate with over 100 teams who fundraise for DanceBlue. 

Fundraising over $15.3 million is a team effort. DanceBlue would not be where it is today without having this team of the entire UK community and beyond. Although money donated throughout the year all benefits DanceBlue, there is a deadline to donate to specific teams and their dancers. The absolute cash/check and online donation deadline for specific teams is TODAY by 4 pm! I encourage everyone to understand and remember that we raise this money For The Kids, and use today to bring in any and all final team donations. If you would like to make a contribution, you can donate here.