Dance Marathon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Photo by Ian Witlen theCameraClicks.com

By: Sharon Aron Baron

In their first year holding a Dance Marathon to raise money the Children’s Miracle Network, Marjory Stoneman Douglas has already made history raising $66,283.17.

“We broke history yesterday and were the highest fundraising Dance Marathon at the high school level in their first year,” said Dance Marathon Advisor Brittany Sinitch. 

Originally scheduled February 24, the five-hour dance marathon almost canceled after the mass shooting in Parkland changed everything.

Dance Marathon Advisor and Teacher Brittany Sinitch with students on the executive board.

Sinitch, a 2013 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas who teaches 9th grade English and drama, brought the event to Douglas after being involved with it at Florida State University.  She held a general interest meeting last August, then formed an executive board with ten members, and 25-plus teams headed by student delegates and a group of morale captains who worked behind the scenes.

The tragic events on February 14, changed everything.  After school resumed, she asked the executive board members if they still wanted to hold the event. They told her they did and chose April 21.

At the five-hour event, there were over 250 registered dancers.  College students also participated where were involved with Dance Marathon from Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, and the University of Florida.

During the marathon, different school clubs were also involved and donated including drama, English honor society, and the student government association who matched donations up to $10K.

Dance Marathon’s slogan is “We stand for those who can’t” had a more profound meaning, not for just for the children they were raising money for, but for the victims that were not longer with them.

“We had a moment of silence to the victims at the beginning because we know so many would have been standing with us,” said Sinitch.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Dance Marathon had their own motto for this year’s event: “To start today.”

Sinitch said, “I told them, ‘I promise you, if you start today, you will find light again.’” 

All proceeds benefit Miami’s Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, part of the Children’s Miracle Network.