On April 8, Bay Path hosted its first Dance Marathon to celebrate and support children receiving services from Baystate Children’s Hospital. Miracle Network Dance Marathon, a national movement to raise money for the nonprofit organization Children’s Miracle Network, brings people together to stay on their feet, play games, and dance in solidarity with kids who do not have the chance to get up and dance while undergoing treatment in children’s hospitals. Annually, over 350 colleges, universities, and high schools participate, and the movement has raised over $106,606,905.00 since it began in 1991.
Leah Frascarelli ’19, a pre-occupational therapy (OT) student with a minor in child psychology, planned and coordinated the Marathon with the Wellness Wildcat Club. Committee members included Alexandra Poppiti '19 (OT), Megan Zabenko '19 (OT), Lindsey Frost ‘19 (OT), Olivia Violette '18 (Psychology), and Jhakiema Hendrickson '19 (Forensic Studies). Frascarelli said she decided to bring the event to Bay Path as a way for our community to give back while having fun together on the weekend.
“We are a very tight community, and we have many majors that want to work with children,” Frascarelli said. “Personally, I have a strong connection to children's hospitals, and it's so important that Baystate receives funding. They are the only children's hospital in Western Massachusetts, and they serve over 40,000 children each year, allowing local families to commute to Baystate in Springfield instead of having to go to Boston or Hartford.”
At the event, three Miracle Families shared their stories and spoke about the impact of these events.
“Having the children there helps solidify why we spent months fundraising money for the children's hospital. Our event also featured a performance by the Dance Company. Over 50 people attended—it was a fantastic turnout.”
Frascarelli said that the fundraising goal of $1,500 was surpassed by more than $600 with a final total of $2,157.64. The money raised will be used to provide equipment, care, and other important necessities for our local Children’s Miracle Network hospital, Baystate Children’s Hospital.
“I am very excited after seeing the success of our first event, and have no doubt that the event will keep growing each year as awareness of Dance Marathon increases. It is really a celebration for the lives of the children that are fighting each day in the children's hospital, and the money raised to support them,” Frascarelli said.