Kean Students Dance Like It Can Save Lives

Kean’s Dance Marathon raises nearly $54,000 for Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside


Motivated students recently strapped on their dancing shoes for the Kean Dance Marathon, and for the fifth straight year, raised a record amount of money for Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside. Their efforts brought in nearly $54,000 this year, with a cumulative total of $176,000 since the marathon began in 2014.

“It was so overwhelming. We, the Greek Senate, cried when we saw how much we raised for the kids,” said Kean University Greek Senate President Victor Benlice, a junior from Elizabeth. “We put in so much work and dedication, and this event really brought the community closer together.”

Music from across the generations filled Downs Hall on Friday, April 20 to get the crowd moving as games, raffles and the occasional dance battle spiced things up. The 12-hour dance marathon is the culmination of months of fundraising.

“The dance marathon is something our students truly own and something we’ve committed ourselves to,” said Scott Snowden, director of the Center for Leadership and Service at Kean. “Other universities in the state take part in the dance marathon, but they don't come close to the amount we raise every year.”

Kayla Pagnani, a program manager at Children’s Specialized  Hospital, reminded the students about why they were there – to support the young patients who need their help.

“For the next 12 hours, we’re going to be standing on our feet for them. We’re going to be raising money for them. Just keep that in mind,” she said.

Performances by dance companies also punctuated the dance marathon, including cultural dance troupes that performed Irish step dancing and a Portuguese rancho folk dance. Patients at Children’s Specialized Hospital also shared their stories to motivate the dancers to keep on moving.

With a history of setting a new record each year, the Kean Dance Marathon organizers know they have a lot of work to do to keep the legacy alive next year.


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