40K – FTK and for Kalie
This past Saturday, November the 11th, was University of Findlay Miracle Network Dance Marathon’s big event, OilerTHON. Sponsored by Circle K International, this ten-hour event is what we had been working towards since spring semester of 2017. We all would stand and dance for ten hours for the children who could not do this. There were competitions, t-shirts, an inflatable game, food, fundraising, hair donations and, of course, dancing! As a part of the committee, I arrived at the FRC on Friday night to start set up, then returned early Saturday morning before the dancers arrived to finish it up before our big event began. We were all very nervous about the day, because we were aware of how far we were from our overall goal of $40,000. We all knew that we had to keep pushing fundraising ALL day if we wanted to hit that important goal.
Hitting $40,000 during this year’s OilerTHON was a very big deal to all of us. In August of this year, one of our miracle kids, Kalie, passed away at the age of just 16 from stage IV colon cancer. She was such a bright and bubbly girl, and made an impact on all the people she was around. We decided that Kalie would be our inspiration for this OilerTHON, and we wanted to hit $40,000 in her honor. Kalie was a fighter right up to the day she passed away. She never gave up, so why would we? Our committee and dancers all pledged to work hard, fundraise harder and hit at least $40,000. In our hearts, we wanted to honor Kalie and make her proud.
The day was full of fun and laughs, but I was getting more and more nervous for the final reveal as every hour passed. At about hour 7.5 (7:30 p.m.), one of our committee members announced that we were at 85% of our goal, or about $34,000. That was nearly $6,000 away from our goal and we only had about two hours left to raise the remaining funds. I felt my heart racing, and that’s when I really started freaking out. Everyone started sending out mass text messages, calling and emailing everyone they knew in an effort to hit our goal of 40K for the kids.
The moments before revealing the overall amount that we raised were absolutely terrifying. No one on the committee, except our executive board, knew what we raised before we held up the signs in front of everyone. This made standing up on stage not knowing what number was going to be put up completely nerve-racking. On the other hand, absolutely nothing beats getting to see the amount we raised by raising the numbers up on stage and celebrating with everyone.
In that moment, every single long night, stressful week and exhausting day was worth it. This year, UF Miracle Network Dance Marathon was able to crush our $40,000 goal and raise $40,967.51 for the kids at Toledo’s Mercy Children’s Hospital and in honor of our angel miracle, Kalie! There are no words for this. There were definitely moments when I really didn’t think we would be able to hit our goal, but we didn’t give up, just like the children we dance for don’t give up. The dancers were amazing, raised crazy amounts of money, and I hope they had as much fun as I did!
So, if you didn’t make it out to #OilerTHON17, make sure you keep your eyes out for #OilerTHON18! I can’t wait to see what miracles we can make next year!
To see more images from OilerTHON17, click here.