Ladies and gentlemen, get out your glow sticks. On Feb. 24 in Webster Gymnasium from 5–9 p.m., Trinity will be hosting a rave.

However, this isn’t your typical rave. The rave in question is part of a bigger dance marathon, called TigerThon, and it’s all to benefit the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, through an organization called the Children’s Miracle Network.

Junior Sarosha Hemani first heard about dance marathons through social media, when she noticed some of her friends from the University of Texas at Austin posting pictures from their own dance marathon event with the hashtag #FTK — for the kids. Hemani looked up the hashtag, found out about the Children’s Miracle Network, and immediately decided that she wanted to start a dance marathon event at Trinity.

“I fell in love with the idea,” Hemani said.

Hemani sent an email to the Children’s Miracle Network and quickly got a response back from one of the central directors of dance marathons with more information and an enthusiastic invitation for Trinity to start a marathon on campus. That’s exactly what Hemani did.

Trinity’s dance marathon, called TigerThon, will be the culmination of the Trinity community’s fundraising effort for the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. The hospital falls under the Children’s Miracle Network because it treats all children, regardless of socioeconomic status. The funds that Trinity raises will go directly to the hospital to help offset the budget deficits it accrues due to its no-turn-away policy.

The event itself will include free food, free t-shirts, entertainment and, of course, dancing, though dancing the entire time is not required. There will also be a friendly competition among all the attending registered student organizations, university sponsored organizations, Greek organizations and athletic teams. The teams in each category will play against each other, and each category’s winning team will get a trophy and bragging rights — until next year’s event, when they’ll have to defend their titles.

First-year Logan Muzyka said she first heard about TigerThon at the student involvement fair last fall. She went to the informational meeting, signed on to be part of the executive team, and is now the dance relations committee chair. Her main job is to recruit people to sign up to come to the event; she has been working mainly with Greek organizations and registered student organizations so far.

“We actually have made a lot of headway because it’s [been] added to the sorority and fraternity standards as something they have to do,” Muzyka said.

The main problem, as Muzyka explained, is trying to get people to pay the $10 registration fee. It also allows you to sign up for a fundraising account on the Miracle Network dance marathon website. Family and friends can donate to your account’s page, which helps Trinity towards the goal of raising $5,000 for the hospital. People can sign up as individuals or as a team, though every person signing up must pay the $10 fee. The money is essentially a direct donation.

“The $10 goes directly to the hospital. We don’t even see that money,” Muzyka said.

She added that the team has been hard at work soliciting donations, organizing the event itself and recruiting people to participate.

Sophomore Kelsey Kohler is the event coordinator that works on these behind-the-scenes preparatory tasks. She mostly deals with logistics, like designing the layout of the gym on the day of the event, coordinating sponsors and donors for food as well as reserving proper equipment and spaces. 

“There’s stress in planning any event, making sure that everything is going how you hope it would and all the parts are working together, but I think the excitement overwhelms those fears, just because we have the potential to make a big impact, and any time you have that opportunity I think it’s exciting,” Kohler said.

Hemani echoed Kohler’s sentiments, adding that she’s especially looking forward to hosting some of the families who have benefitted from the hospital.

“We’re having a couple of families come to the event and they’re a lot of fun, and they’re going to talk about how the hospital and how Children’s Miracle Network have helped them. So I’m excited to have everyone who has registered and who does come to the event hear their stories and make that impact on their lives, just like the hospital did on the families’ lives,” Hemani said.

Even though Trinity’s marathon event is relatively small this year, Hemani has high hopes for the future.

“My vision is to see this grow bigger and better every year,” Hemani said.

In fact, according to Hemani, other schools Trinity’s size have raised as much as $50,000 for their beneficiary hospital. However, because this is the first year that Trinity will be hosting TigerThon, the goal has been set at a more modest $5,000. Toward the end of the evening, the total amount of funds raised will be announced. Then, for the last hour, the moment everyone has been waiting for — the rave.

The TigerThon event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 5–9 p.m. in the Webster Gymnasium. You can email Hemani at shemani@trinity.edu if you want to participate in or have questions about the event. 

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