By Jill Fox
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students are preparing to dance up a storm while supporting a great cause.
Taking place at more than 300 colleges, high schools, and even some middle schools around the country, the nationwide event shares one common goal—to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
A 2013 Stoneman Douglas graduate, Brittany Sinitch started the event in 2018 when she returned to the Parkland school as an English teacher. While attending Florida State University, she was heavily involved in the dance marathon, raising $20,000 in her four years for the nationwide movement.
“They say it’s a movement bigger than yourself, and knowing the school and the community, I knew it was the perfect event to bring to Douglas,” said Sinitch, who became the school’s dance marathon advisor.
Three to four hundred people typically participate in the marathon, now in its third year at Stoneman Douglas. Donations from their event will benefit the Miami Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, with all proceeds going towards helping find a cure for pediatric illnesses and cancer.
The dance marathon, in which students and their families pledge to stand for those who can’t, raised over $100,000 in 2019, nearly $35,000 more than its first year. However, this time Sinitch said the committee is concentrating on the cause, not the number.
“For the kids, it’s more about what they can do without all the attention from the tragedy; now it’s really up to them. It’s about making a difference, and remembering where the funds are going,” she said.
In addition to six hours of dancing to a DJ, the marathon will have plenty of other activities to do on foot. Attendees can get their faces painted or henna tattoos, play interactive games, visit the photo booth, and even participate in a silent disco, where music is transmitted to wireless headphones.
“The kids seem to really love the event. Some have even gone on to participate in college, and I’m really proud of them,” said Sinitch, who explained they always like to have a marathon motto. This year’s is “It takes you” because no matter where one goes in life, it will always take you to make a difference.
The Dance Marathon will take place in the Stoneman Douglas Gym on Saturday, March 14, starting at noon, with the fundraising grand total revealed at 6 p.m. The cost to enter is $15. To register or donate at Dance Marathon.