As Fall 2019 draws to a close, Ithaca College students are frantically preparing for exams, turning in final papers and saying goodbye to their friends before a month-long winter vacation. But, on Saturday, Dec. 7, many took a break from the end-of-semester chaos to participate in the college’s very first BomberTHON.
BomberTHON is the college’s first Miracle Network Dance Marathon, a national program that helps raise money for pediatric hospitals across the country. The dance-a-thon at the college was organized by a group of students, and approximately 29 campus sports teams and organizations participated. The event raised over $28,000 for the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, New York, one of the hospitals associated with the Miracle Network Dance Marathon.
Student efforts to organize and promote the BomberTHON event are extremely admirable and demonstrate the ways in which students can utilize the college’s resources to pursue real, positive change.
Often times, students get preoccupied with their own busy schedules and lives, which often leaves little time for them to engage in community service opportunities. In partnering with the Miracle Network Dance Marathon and the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, BomberTHON provided a unique, fun opportunity for college community members to step out of their bubbles and build genuine, impactful connections with people who are struggling — people they might otherwise never connect with.Students at the college are often separated into very distinct social groups, whether it be by majors, sports teams or clubs.
The dance-a-thon prompted students with different identities to come together, relate to one another and pursue a common goal, all while having some fun in the process. Since the Miracle Network Dance Marathon began three decades ago, it has partnered with over 400 educational institutions throughout the continent and raised over $250 million for its partner hospitals.
In partnering with the network, the college is not only bringing the idea of community to the college but is also helping to promote the network’s greater mission of philanthropy and the importance of colleges using their resources and influence to help others.
BomberTHON is a primary example of the ways in which student actions can really influence tangible, positive change. Although the 2019 dance-a-thon has ended, its legacy as a successful, impactful and student-led initiative will continue.