State-A-Thon more than just service hours

Jordan Bierbrauer Opinion Editor

It is that time of year again, where hundreds of South Dakota State students will join together and dance for 13 hours straight in an effort to raise money and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network. Yes, State-A-Thon is here.

Now not all 13 hours of this event are dancing – a lot of the event consists of interacting with the families that you and your group members are assigned to for the day. Each family in attendance at State-A-Thon has been helped by the Children’s Miracle Network, and are there for the same reason as we students will be, to raise awareness.

My first experience with State-A-Thon was in the spring of 2014. I signed up for State-A-Thon without really knowing what to expect. The only reason I signed up was to obtain service hours to fulfill the number of service hours that are required to be a part of my fraternity. 

I remember my day starting out with lining up along the sides of Main Street in the Student Union, and watching all the families and Moral Leaders run through the crowd of dancers, receiving high fives and cheers of approval the entire way. With a scene like that to start out my first State-A-Thon experience, I was instantly excited for what was to come.

The rest of my day consisted of bonding with the family I had been assigned to, trying to win moral points for my family and dancing with hundreds of other volunteers, all willing to give up their entire Saturday to support the Children’s Miracle Network.

The day ended with a dance party that lasted for two hours and eventually ended with all the volunteers forming a circle and shaking hands, giving high fives or hugging all the families in attendance.

My experience with State-A-Thon was such an impactful one. It left enough of an impact on me that I have been looking forward to it all year, and I have even gotten a majority of my fraternity to sign up for it as well. State-A-Thon was the first major charity event I participated in and since then I have always kept my eyes open for any opportunity to do charity work again, whether it consists of running a 5K or selling hotdogs, I am always looking to help out.

I think that everyone should participate in State-A-Thon at least once, for the experience. This is a charity event that you will be happy to be a part of. By participating in State-A-Thon, you get the chance to raise money for a good cause and you get the privilege of experiencing the electricity that comes off of hundreds of dancers dancing for the same purpose. State-A-Thon’s motto is “For the Kids” and that motto could not be more fitting.

One can see the enjoyment on kids’ faces while they are at State-A-Thon, and knowing that you may be the reason why a kid forgets about their troubles for a day, and can really enjoy just being a kid, well, I think that is a reward in itself.

It is not too late to sign up to be a part of this enlightening event. Applications are still being given out and accepted in the UPC office located in the Student Engagement Center of The Union.

State-A-Thon check-in starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, and the dancing starts at 10 a.m.

Remember to bring some donations. Money donations are accepted at the check-in table; all you need is $10 to receive a State-A-Thon shirt! Of course, more donations are always welcomed.

Give up some of your time; give it up For the Kids.

Jordan is a psychology major and can be reached at [email protected]