UPC awaits State-A-Thon

Holly Leske

As State-A-Thon rolls into its 10th year with the slogan “We Stand For Kids Who Can’t,” coordinator Maggie Aldrich, a senior from Harrisburg, S.D., has big plans for the 2012 event.

“Last year we raised over $37,000, and the year before that we raised over $33,000,” said Aldrich. “This year we’re trying to raise over $40,000.”

Known as a dance marathon at hundreds of other participating schools, State-A-Thon helps raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network through the Sanford hospital located in Sioux Falls.

Fundraisers go on throughout the year in the form of University Programs Council events created to raise money for the day of State-A-Thon on March 24.  Donations are also a large part of State-A-Thon. Every dollar donated and raised goes straight to helping children in the eastern part of South Dakota, northwest Iowa, and southwest Minnesota.

The official date of State-A-Thon acts as a big celebration of Children’s Miracle Network, with activities like dances and concerts going on throughout the day. Children’s Miracle Network families are invited to come and speak about how their family has been impacted. Morale leaders also lead the participants in morale dances, an activity that pays homage to the dance marathon theme of other schools.

“The reason that so many people are so passionate about this event on campus is that they can see the money they’re raising [help the kids],” Aldrich said. “It’s a really amazing time to build these relationships with the families.”

With over 200 people already signed up for the celebration date, State-A-Thon is such a popular event around campus that even recent transfer students like Amanda Wangberg can’t resist participating.

“I knew I wanted to do it when I came here,” she said.

Wangberg is registered on March 24 as a member of the State-A-Thon crowd, meaning she’s one of the hundreds who have pledged to raise at least $75 dollars to supplement funds for State-A-Thon. Registered members are required to raise at least $75 but are encouraged to raise as much money as possible. The total amount raised by participants, donations and money from UPC events is then revealed the night of State-A-Thon.

More money can be raised even after the big reveal on the State-A-Thon day, meaning the dollar amount revealed can continue to grow. The fundraisers also continue after March 24, into June when Sanford Hospital holds their telethon for Children’s Miracle Network.

This is Aldrich’s first year as the overall chair. She is ecstatic about the event that has already been organized by her and the 12-memeber State-A-Thon board. Aldrich says they work tirelessly to help plan the big day. Involved since her sophomore year, Aldrich knows how impactful an event like State-A-Thon can be for anyone who participates.

“You’re going to cry, you’re going to laugh … it is the best time you could ever possibly have at college,” Aldrich said. “Guaranteed.”