Riley Dance Marathon dances for kids who can’t

Kobe King
Staff Reporter

Riley Dance Marathon, (RDM), didn’t meet their goal of $17,000 but still made $16,160.34 at this year’s event, which was carnival themed. Some activities at the event included dancing, carnival games, Riley kids’ sharing their stories, a dodgeball tournament, and food.

According to Rileychildrens.org, “Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health is a children’s hospital in Indianapolis. It is named after James Whitcomb Riley, a writer, and poet who lived in Indianapolis. [Also] Whether your child needs primary care for routine health and wellness, or specialty care for acute or complex conditions, you can depend on Riley Children’s.”

Adviser for RDM and English teacher Katie DeClercq joined RDM six years ago because she loves helping kids.

“[I joined RDM] in order to make a difference and help raise funds for Riley Hospital for Children, a hospital that never turns away patients regardless of whether or not they can pay. Also, we always have a great time and you get to help make a difference,” DeClercq said.

DeClercq’s most cherished element about the Riley Dance Marathon is seeing all the hard work that they put in come together.

WCHS junior Lexi Giddens was the head of the Family Relations Committee. This put her in control of finding Riley kids to attend the marathon. Also, she tries to get kids to share their story. Giddens has been a part of RDM since her freshman year and joined because of her six year old cousin who has been fighting cancer since he was two years old.

“[My cousin] is always at Riley receiving care, so it is very important to me that I get involved and help other kids like him,” Giddens said.

Giddens’ favorite part about RDM is seeing the Riley kids go and tell others their stories because it gives the dancers inspiration.

Senior Michaela Adams is one of the executives of fundraising. She has been apart of RDM for three years. Her first year she was a committee member and the last two years she has been an executive. They prepared by helping plan numerous fundraising events.

“We have been preparing for RDM by having different fundraisers throughout the year. We have already had our annual dinner, our live auction, Stop the Bop [where we played music at lunch], and also our 5 on 5 basketball tournament. We also had a few dine to donates at Tried and True on 135,” Adams said.

Adams favorite part about RDM is listening to the Riley kids tell their stories and the rave, which is when the lights shut off in the gym and the students dance with glow sticks.

WCHS junior Reese Johnson was a decoration committee member and felt proud when she saw the total raised.

“Although our goal was not reached, I felt proud when I saw the amount revealed because I know each and everyone of us put in so much hard work. Just knowing that each and every cent raised goes to the children of Riley makes every second of my time worth it,” Johnson said.

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