Refueling For the Kids


After 13 hours of dancing, participants line up for breakfast in the River Room at the IMU on February 4, 2017. (The Daily Iowan/Osama Khalid)

A long line began forming in the early morning of the second half of Dance Marathon as hungry dancers lined up for their first meal of the day.

“Today starting with breakfast, we have the IMU catering. They made stuff like eggs, sausage, and fruit to serve. For lunch, we’ll have Panda Express. That meal will include stuff like rice and the different entrees like chicken. It is all 100 percent donated,” Hospitality Chair Jessie Simkins said.

Simkins is in charge of soliciting food donations and other donations from restaurants around Iowa City for various Dance Marathon events.

The families of Dance Marathon are also served meals during their time at the Big Event.

“Today for breakfast, the pancake man serves the families because the kids love all the flip tricks he does, and for family lunch we have Texas Roadhouse sponsoring the meal, which is a brand new sponsor. Their meal will include food like pulled pork and green beans,” Simkins said.

Dancers were eager for some time to rest and replenish before finishing out their last leg of the Big Event.

“It has been a lot of movement [over the past 14 hours] so whatever you ate before, you burn off. I am so hungry and ready for some food,” Dancer Christina Carlson said.

Dancer Emma Johnson enjoys the meal time because it allows her to gather her thoughts over what all she has been experiencing throughout her 24-hours.

“I really like meal times because it gets you away from the noise and gives you a chance to relax and think about what you’ve been doing up to this point. It is a good time to reflect,” Johnson said.

Feeding all the dancers, families, and people involved with Dance Marathon isn’t easy, but Simkins made it happen with the help of restaurants around Iowa City.

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