State A Thon surpasses goal for Children’s Miracle Network

Taylor Anderson hugs other State A Thon executive board members after the final fundraising amount for State A Thon was revealed April 8, 2017 in the Volstorff Ballroom. The organization raised a new fundraising record, breaking their $120,000 goal. 

By LAURA BUTTERBRODT Lifestyles Editor

The Volstorff Ballroom was home to nearly 400 dancers throughout Saturday. As the dance marathon neared it’s end, dancers waited anxiously for the total amount of State A Thon donations to finally be revealed. 

The 12 hour dance marathon shattered its goal of $120,000, raising more than $150,000 for the Sanford Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Sioux Falls.

State A Thon coordinator Hannah Klinkhammer said some members of the executive board thought the number was nearly unachievable.

“When you’re setting goals, if it doesn’t scare you a little bit, why did you make that your goal?” Klinkhammer said.

Klinkhammer made the executive decision to set their target at $120,000, competing with the University of South Dakota’s dance marathon, Dakotathon, which was held on the same day.

Members of the executive board said the friendly competition between the rival schools was a good motivator to raise more money.

“It’s in good fun because we all know that no matter what we raise, it has a huge impact,” Klinkhammer said.

Dakotathon raised about $145,000 this year. Internal vice president of State A Thon Emma McInerney said, even though there is a rivalry, SDSU and USD were able to come together and give almost $300,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network in just one weekend.

Last year, State A Thon raised more than $103,000. Dance marathon relations chair Laura Alexander said the individual students’ fundraising had a huge impact on the final number this year.

Jordan Hulscher, sophomore speech communications major, participated in State A Thon for the first time this year. For her the most memorable parts of the 12-hour dance marathon included the grand reveal and hearing stories from the CMN families.

“I don’t really know how to put it into words,” Hulscher said. “It was just an awesome experience and something really cool to be a part of.”

Throughout the day, students learned line dances and other choreography, but there were more activities than just dancing. Participants played games with CMN kids and saw a performance by Reza the Illusionist.

Sophomore pre-nursing major Megan Odegard described the day as “amazing.” Odegard said it was tough to hear the CMN stories, but seeing the “happy, smiling kids” brought her joy and hope.

Members of the executive board said they love State A Thon and felt this year was an especially successful year. According to Klinkhammer, the board took a more passive approach than normal when it came to recruiting dancers and raising money, which brought more enthusiastic participants.

Financial Coordinator Hannah Brokmeier said she did feel some stress during State A Thon, but for good reason.

“I was stressed out a lot, but it was stress because money was coming faster than I could count,” Brokmeier said.

Klinkhammer said the positive reactions she has received from families from CMN made the year of fundraising and planning worth it. 

“I don’t think there’s anything better” Klinkhammer said.

Next year’s State A Thon co-overall coordinators are Sammie Gervais and Annika Hietpas, who are both currently sophomores. The rest of the executive board will be announced later this semester, then planning for next year’s dance marathon will begin.