Today was one of my favorite days of the entire year. It marked my fourth and final UDance as an undergrad at UD. One night, early in the fall of 2013, Katie Gordon asked me to go to an interest meeting with her because she didn’t want to walk the rape trail alone in the dark. The entire course of my college career changed that night. I signed up to be a Dancer by the end of the meeting. At the time, I didn’t understand what that really meant. I knew it meant that I was going to raise $460 for childhood cancer by March, and that I was going to pledge to stand up for 12 hours straight during a dance marathon. But I didn’t really do much to raise my money other than send a few emails. I didn’t really get the full effect of what it meant to be a part of UDance until the day of. March 23, 2014. My first 12 hours on my feet. The first time I watched Exec lift those numbers up with the final total, I felt it – I had had an impact in someone’s life. I was a part of something so much bigger than myself.
Since then, I have fallen in love with the organization and how much good it has allowed me to do in a few short years. When I joined Sigma Alpha, I became the philanthropy chair and UDance Rep. I served in the position for two years, learning from the best (Katie Heidgerd, I’m looking at you) about how to motivate my chapter and have fun getting donations through countless email campaigns and several dozen canning trips. I have so many memories from standing on the side of the road or in front of a business with some my best friends and sisters. I cry every single time Joe McDonough comes to speak, every time I hear a story from a B+ family, every time I think about one of the angels that didn’t deserve the short life that they got.
I gave up my position after 2 years, but my senior non-Rep status didn’t take away any of my passion for the cause. I had a lot of other commitments this year, so I didn’t get to can as often as I would have liked, but I did still surpass my fundraising goal of $1,000. This is because of my amazing loved ones who persevere through my endless campaign for donations. I love you all for supporting my passions and helping me support the cause!
Fast forward to today – it was bittersweet. It was my fourth and final UDance as a Dancer. Carly started the day by asking seniors going on their 48th hour to raise their hands. It didn’t really hit me until I saw my own hand in the air. I’m graduating, but I won’t leave UDance behind. I’ll be supporting my sisters so long as the organization exists at the University of Delaware. Because childhood cancer still exists. Today we danced a little bit in celebration. We took up our usual spot front and center. We silent discoed. We danced along to countless acts full of talent. We cheered on B+ Heroes. We cried alongside survivors with war stories, as well as the families of those who were taken from them too soon. We line danced every hour. We raved. Exec raised up the total, and we all cheered. We celebrated our hard work. But the fight is not over. We must continue to fight. So today we also danced for a cure. And I will keep dancing until we find one.
Thank you to Joe McDonough for creating the Andrew McDonough Be Positive Foundation in honor of the very first Hero. Thank you to the brothers of Sig Ep and the sisters of AEPhi for creating UDance. Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in helping it expand in what it has become today. I will never forget the 48 hours I spent dancing For a Smile, For a Life, For a Cure.