Hawks, Cyclones partner in Dance Marathon challenge


The University of Iowa and Iowa State University are putting their rivalries behind them to maximize fundraising for the UI Children’s Hospital.

This year, the goal is to reach $57,889. That number is directly correlated to the number of children treated at the hospital last year.

“We’ve partnered with [ISU] in order to raise $1 for every child treated at the UI Children’s Hospital last year,” said UI senior Drake Wilbur, the Dance Marathon public-relations director. “It’s an interesting fundraising push.”

The collaborative effort was proposed by the UI; it is the first time the two schools have worked together.

ISU Dance Marathon Co-Director Austin Javellana said so far, the collaboration has been effective and fun for both schools.

“We’re showing both our universities as well as our state how we support the UI Children’s Hospital, which is important to the entire state,” Javellana said.

Because the UI and ISU are actively participating in the fundraising, Javellana said he also hopes that other schools such as the University of Northern Iowa and Loras College will see the coverage and also want to get involved in the fundraising efforts.

Aside from hoping that this new collaboration will continue in years to come as well as inspire other Dance Marathon organizations, the UI and ISU are planning to use the upcoming basketball game as a way to encourage people to continue donating and fundraising.

Wilbur said funds have increased this week.

Though the rivalry in sports is stiff between the two schools, those who are involved in Dance Marathon are determined to keep this event as a friendly competition.

“Obviously, it’s a big rivalry week, but we just want to take this opportunity to promote and raise funds,” said ISU senior Jessica Pearce, a Dance Marathon co-director. “We’re all very passionate about the Children’s Hospital. It’s a great time for the two of our schools to come together.”

Because the two schools are working toward a common goal, the competition aspect of the fundraising collaboration hasn’t been much of an issue to Dance Marathon officials.

“We don’t view our Dance Marathon programs as a rivalry,” said UI senior Erin Larsen, the Dance Marathon executive director. “We support the same Children’s Hospital. We like to do everything we can to make sure that both programs are as successful as they can be so we can do as much as we can for the kids.”

Officials also are not concerned with which school has raised more money.

“We come to the table with the same goals and mindsets,” Javellena said. “We check our egos at the door and we’re here to support [Dance Marathon].”

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