I first heard about DanceBlue during my freshman year of high school. A few of my friends in the grade above me were starting a mini marathon at Henry Clay. I signed up to participate mostly to support them in making the event a success, but quickly my passion for the organization developed. One of several guest speakers during the marathon was Jennifer Mynear, a woman who lost her son, Jarrett, to pediatric cancer and was instrumental in founding DanceBlue almost 15 years ago. As soon as I heard Mrs. Mynear speak, I was hooked on the organization and knew I had to play a part in executing its mission. For the next three years, I served on my high school’s DanceBlue planning committee. When I got to UK, I volunteered at the marathon my freshman year and served on the Corporate Relations Committee my sophomore year.

This year, as the Corporate Relations Chair, I am responsible for reaching out to businesses across the state of Kentucky and beyond and sharing the mission of DanceBlue in an effort to attract new sponsors and retain current ones. I have an awesome team of 2 coordinators and 10 committee members who make my job super enjoyable! My committee is also responsible for planning DanceBlue’s annual silent auction (read on for some more info on that). My responsibilities vary greatly week to week and have been especially unique this year. Typically, I would spend a lot of my time meeting in-person with companies like Central Bank, Keeneland, and Coca-Cola. While I’ve still had the occasional face to face meeting, most of my work is now done through Zoom and email. I spend about half of my time working with our current sponsors to find the best level and model of sponsorship for them, and about half of my time reaching out to potential new sponsors. My committee and I hear “no” a lot, even more so now with many organization’s budgets for discretionary spending being slashed due to COVID-19. The good news is that just one “yes” can have a huge impact on the kids in the clinic and their families- an impact that is much needed right now because cancer does not stop, not even for a pandemic.

One of my favorite parts of being on committee is acting as an ambassador of sorts to people across campus and Kentucky every single day. I’ve had extensive conversations about DanceBlue with prospective students and their families while giving campus tours, with freshmen in UK 101 classes, and even with a police officer running radar on the Western Kentucky Parkway (whoops). By spreading the message of DanceBlue, I have convinced people to raise money and dance who otherwise may never have been exposed to the mission. DanceBlue is without a doubt the most meaningful organization I am in, and I am humbled to be able to raise awareness and funds across campus and beyond.

This year, I am working with the rest of the DanceBlue chair team and our advisors to plan a calendar of events that are enjoyable for participants, but also promote the standard of public health for which DanceBlue encourages. While this has definitely been an unforeseen challenge, it has been an opportunity for me and the rest of the chairs, some of the most selfless and hardworking individuals I know, to put our mark on this year’s events. Rest assured there are some exciting things in the works!

One of those things is the annual DanceBlue Silent Auction! This year, the auction will be totally virtual and will run from Sunday, October 25th to Saturday, November 7th. We have all kinds of awesome items this year, including a signed Mark Stoops football, rounds of golf, baskets from local boutiques, and a whole bunch of artwork painted by patients in the DanceBlue Clinic! Bidding will be done on a platform called BidBeacon. Please see below for steps on how to access the auction. You can absolutely sign up for an account and view items prior to the auction opening. Winners will receive an email from [email protected] within 7 days of the auction’s close with a specific UK payment link. After payment is received, items can be picked up or shipped.

How to Access Bid Beacon on an iPhone/Android in 5 Easy Steps:

  1. Search for “BidBeacon” in the app store and download the free app.
  2. Click the “Sign in with email address” button, then click “Register” at the bottom of the screen in order to create an account.
  3. Fill out all required information, double checking that your email and phone number are correct. This is how we will contact you when you win an item!
  4. In the invite code line, enter KH9QEK. Then click, “Create Account.”
  5. Enable notifications to stay up to date on the items you’re bidding on. Happy bidding!

If  you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]anceblue.org, or refer to https://bidbeacon.com/faq/. Also, follow us on our social media @uk_danceblue on Instagram, @UKDanceBlue on Twitter, and DanceBlue on Facebook for up-to-date information about this year’s virtual Silent Auction!