Miracles made

State A Thon crushes fundraising goal by raising $179,143.19

Andrew Rasmussen, Reporter

With just 90 minutes left during April 6 State A Thon, the students were $8,000 short of their goal. 

In the final hour of the 12-hour dance marathon, students raised $12,000, giving them a grand total of $179,143.19. 

State A Thon is an annual event put on by students to support families of children with medical conditions in the area. All funds are used to help families that seek medical care at the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls through the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN).

Last year, State A Thon raised $165,829.49 for the kids. 

“Since 2001 we have raised over $1 million and we’re not stopping here,” junior human biology major Jacey Feyereisen said.

More than 500 students participated in this year’s event. Students were teamed up as members of Greek Life, residence halls and other campus organizations. Their teams were then paired with a family that the money raised would support. 

Twenty-six “miracle” families from the area that have been to the Sanford Castle attended the event to share their stories, interact with participants and let their kids have fun.

Junior animal science major Megan Kellen said she “dances for those who can’t.”

“This year it really hit home because one of the miracle families was this year-old girl and her parents are both seniors at SDSU,” Kellen said. “She [the mother] had participated in State A Thon her freshman year but never saw herself benefiting directly from it.” 

Kellen was a morale captain, which means she coordinated and taught the team dancers the morale dance. 

“It goes like this,” said junior human biology major Nick Goeman. “You meet your miracle child and their family, you learn the morale dance and then throughout the day there are fun games to help raise more money for CMN all while having a blast with your miracle child.” 

Goeman said students don’t, in fact, dance for 12 hours straight, but they do the morale dance about once an hour. 

Fundraising starts over the summer and continues until 10 p.m. the night of the event for the final reveal. State A Thon members fundraise by going door-to-door in the community, various tournaments, food sales and social media bingo cards, according to Feyereisen. 

“We fundraise all year and then we come together and celebrate with the miracle families that are impacted by these funds,” said Feyereisen.

Kellen said after the Power Hour—during which donations were matched up to $1,000 —  everyone stopped dancing and got on their phones to request final donations. 

“That final push was crazy,” Kellen said. “They encouraged us to get uncomfortable, and the hardest part for me is asking people for money because I understand everyone has their own charities and causes that they support.”