State A Thon aims for $120,000 by this weekend

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South Dakota State’s annual dance marathon, State A Thon, is happening this weekend and offers 12 hours of dance, games and fun in benefit of the Children’s Miracle Network.

This year’s theme is ‘Kidchella,’ a play on the music festival, Coachella. State A Thon’s fundraising goal is $120,000, a large increase from last year’s $90,000 goal. SAT surpassed that by $13,000 last year.

Normally, the amount State A Thon has raised is displayed online for anyone to view throughout their year-long effort. However, this year the amount raised remains a mystery to the public and all State A Thon participants, until the grand reveal at the end of the night on Saturday.

All State A Thon participants set a personal fundraising goal, which many reach and raise as they go, according to Liz Piehl, junior pharmacy student and co-chair for morale leaders.

Piehl’s goal this year was $1,000, which she raised to $1,200, and after meeting that she raised her goal to $1,400, which she is now working toward. 

Piehl emphasized that State A Thon is “a day you won’t regret,” and encouraged students to participate.

“It’s a completely different way to get involved,” Piehl said. 

The all-day dance marathon is more than just dancing, Piehl said. Students can expect a full, fun day.

“We play games, eat food, dance and hear wonderful stories from the miracle families who attend. It’s an atmosphere and experience you don’t want to miss.”

Hannah Klinkhammer, overall coordinator of SAT this year, said the grand reveal and stories from miracle families put the event into perspective and make their year-long efforts worth it.

“We start planning for the next State A Thon two weeks after it ends — planning events, going canning, setting a date for next year — so getting to see it all come together on the day of in the grand reveal is a nice physical representation of all our work,” Klinkhammer said.

Galiya Bitton, senior hospitality management major and morale captain, said participating in State A Thon is a different experience because the impact is tangible.

“It is so great to meet the families that we are helping because they are from the area, and I know that our time and effort of fundraising is making a difference,” Bitton said.

Klinkhammer resonated the feeling of making a significant impact in the lives of Children’s Miracle Network kids and families. One memory stood out to her that captured her feelings.

“Last year, one of the miracle kids took the microphone on stage and said that State A Thon is his favorite day of the whole year,” Klinkhammer said. “For a 7-year-old not to say Christmas or his birthday is his favorite, but State A Thon, is great to see the kids love it as much as we do.”

Klinkhammer hopes more students continue to become involved with State A Thon and it becomes an even great staple on campus.

“We want people at SDSU and in the community to love State A Thon as much as we do,” Klinkhammer said.

State A Thon is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, in the Volstorff Ballroom.