This year has been by far the toughest year to be an advisor, or just to be anyone I am sure. The world is filled with so much uncertainty as we try to fight a virus that seems to never go away or get better. Covid-19 has made us feel uncomfortable in so many ways, but it has also brought us to see things in a different light that we would have never seen before. It has taught us the basics of what we really value, which is each other.

DanceBlue is an amazing organization that has a mission that is so selfless within itself, it’s to do everything FOR THE KIDS. It amazes me every day to see so many passionate college students and community members wanting to give back to families they’ve sometimes never met. This year especially, has been difficult because we aren’t able to be physically together or meet people, which includes the DanceBlue families and kids. At the beginning of the semester, there was so much shock and disappointment, but then there was a lot innovation and resiliency. Everything, I mean EVERYTHING, had to be switched online with little notice. But the students DID IT. When I say DID IT, I mean, THEY MADE IT HAPPEN. From a virtual 5K, to a completely virtual Silent Auction, everyone leaned in to help each other and make it happen. We have an online Merch store that is completely packaged and shipped by students with the help of the SOA Ticketing Office. We just finished an amazing fundraising weekend that included a race and a lot of great businesses giving back a percentage of their sales. And the Silent Auction was the most successful it has ever been! The hospital staff has been so so amazing helping students with completely virtual family events. Yeah, students are so sad they can’t be in the clinic with the kiddos, but we have families logging in to zoom to participate in DB activities that would have not been able to because they live far away or they are currently in treatment. So that is so so amazing!!! Students keep showing up, not because it makes them feel better or because it’s something to do, but they show up because they truly believe they can make a difference in someone’s lives and make the world a better place for children and families who are battling cancer.

This year has been filled with so many “No’s” and so much uncertainty, but I am so certain that DanceBlue will continue to do amazing things to keep everyone safe and give back to so many amazing families. We don’t know what the Spring will look like, but we are certain that the DanceBlue team will keep showing up and keep pouring their hearts out. We are working so hard on being able to create a marathon experience where everyone can be safe and healthy. So, a special shout out to Allie, Meagan, Nick, Lizzie, Julia, Emma, Emily, Morgan, Lucy and Will. Thank you for being amazing student leaders and leading an amazing team of committee and coordinators! Also a special shout out to my co-advisor Abby and the whole SOA and UK Team for all of the work you put in to make this student orgs dreams come true! I am so excited to see this team keep kicking butt!!