Dance Marathon aims to raise over $40,000 for local nonprofits

Abi Pepin, Reporter

When people hear about a dance marathon, they often think about a huge dance party. While that may be the case, the App State Dance Marathon committees plan months in advance to raise money for local nonprofit organizations. 

With a hope to raise $45,000, students are preparing for the 17th annual App State Dance Marathon. The money raised will help children and families throughout the High Country.

“Dance Marathon is a 15-hour dance party that benefits two local nonprofit organizations,” said Cami Wolff, co-chair of Dance Marathon. “During that time, we’re dancing and standing in solidarity of the families that are being benefited by this event.”

One of the nonprofits the money will go to Western Youth Network, which provides after-school care and other services for at-risk youth in Watauga County. 

“Even though Western Youth is a bigger community partner, they definitely need mentors right now,” said Allison Montgomery, co-chair of Dance Marathon. “There are usually 70 kids on their waiting list to get mentors.”

The other nonprofit the event is fundraising for is Parent to Parent, which supports parents of children with special needs.

Montgomery said the money raised will make up the majority of Parent to Parent’s yearly budget. Without the donations, it would not be able to support as many families.

“I think a lot of things need to happen right now, like continuing to push our registration and getting more participants, because the more people we have there, the more fun it’s going to be,” said Wolff, a sophomore exercise science major. “We want to make sure that the event is really hype and exciting so that people will come one year and then want to come again the next year.”

“My college experience wouldn’t be the same without (Dance Marathon),” said Claire Wood, a junior hospitality and tourism and marketing double major.

Wood said that there are multiple sub-committees, such as fundraising, recruitment and marketing that work to make the event successful. 

“Throughout the day there are various performances from groups around campus, crafts and activities,” Wood said. “You will even get the opportunity to meet many of the families that benefit from Western Youth Network and Parent to Parent.”

Wolff said teams and individuals can register for the marathon and pledge $150 to become part of the event They hope to have 300 people registered for the event.

“You can create a team with your fraternity, club or just a group of friends on your floor,” Wolff said. “You get to hang out with your team that day and do the line dance together. It’s kind of a bonding moment.”

 “If you feel like you can’t make it the whole day or maybe you can’t fundraise $150, then we have morale dancers,” said Montgomery, a junior global studies major. “It’s $10 a ticket, and they can come the last three or four hours and it just makes it 10 times more hype.”

Dance Marathon is on Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. at Legends. You can register for the event at 

Correction: A previous version of the story had Cami Wolff as “Cami Woldd” which was incorrect. The article has been updated.