Student group raises bar for charity fundraising


Christian Postma, brain cancer survivor, runs down Main Street in The Union as students clap in support for the opening ceremony for State-A-Thon April 2, 2019. Kyle Schiltz, State-A-Thon morale co-chair, runs behind him.

Raising more than $100,000 for Children’s Miracle Network to help children with cancer is something “beyond inspiring” to Hannah Klinkhammer.

Klinkhammer, a biology pre-physical therapy, is the overall coordinator for the South Dakota State University State A Thon group, which raises money through fundraisers and a dance marathon for CMN.

“Throughout the year we do little events, but the big day-of is what most people attend and they hear miracle stories, get to see children who are actually affected by your fundraising and it’s honestly kind of selfish how good you feel when you’re done,” Klinkhammer said. “It’s just the best feeling in the world to know that you are saving children’s lives.”

State A Thon is the largest philanthropic group on campus. Students can get involved by liking the group’s Facebook page.

Klinkhammer became involved her freshman year at SDSU because her sister encouraged her to join.

“I just fell in love,” Klinkhammer said. “It just started off as kind of a coincidence, and then, I couldn’t imagine not doing it anymore.”

Now as overall coordinator, Klinkhammer will have a hand in putting the State A Thon dance marathon together, which is one of the “most fun days” of the year for her because she gets to see how much the children and families appreciate the hard work put into fundraising.

At last year’s State A Thon, Klinkhammer was told three times by “miracle children” how much they loved it, some saying it’s their favorite day of the year.

Since State A Thon raised more than $103,000 for last year’s event, Klinkhammer said the group is shooting for a 10 percent increase at $114,000 next year.

State A Thon will be hosted April 8, 2017, but Klinkhammer said there will also be fundraising events just about every week throughout the school year.