PDM raises over $360,000 at first in-person dance event since 2019

Members of the Pitt community, including various Pitt Greek Life organizations and the cheering team, gathered at the Charles L. Cost Sports Center Saturday for 12 hours dance marathon celebrating the culmination of the Pitt Dance Marathon’s year-long fundraising efforts. This year, PDM participants raised over $366,000.

PDM is “the largest student-run philanthropy” at Pitt, according to PDM’s website. PDM works throughout the year to raise funds and awareness UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburghwhich is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

PDM had about 1,500 attendees and 130 staff members this year, according to Alyssa Berry, PDM’s recruitment director and double major in English Literature and Law, Criminal Justice and Society. Participants had until midnight on the day of the dance marathon to raise funds. At midnight, PDM staff revealed the amount of funds raised by participants – $366,817.32.

According to the PDM board, the best Greek fundraising team was Kappa Deltawhich raised $17,066.28, and the top non-Greek fundraising team was CHAARG, which raised $2,710.62. Followed by Kappa Delta, other top Greek teams included Delta Delta Delta, which raised $13,715, Sigma Sigma Sigmawhich raised $12,178, and Theta Phi Alphawhich raised $11,448.

Emma Kappler, PDM’s marketing director, said they haven’t had in-person programming for the past two years due to COVID-19.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Kappler said. “I’ve been in this organization for three years, but this is my first dance marathon.”

According to Kappler, a junior student in political science and law, criminal justice and society, PDM’s recruiting team begins recruiting participants in the fall, using child health day in early October as a big push day to attract more participants.

A total of 76 student organizations, including social and academic fraternities and sororities, club sports teams and professional societies participated in the PDM and were paired with other organizations to form “teams of color,” according to Kappler. These colored teams compete in different sports competitions for prizes on the day of the dance marathon.

Music rang out throughout the Cost Sports Center during the 12-hour dance marathon for participants and miracle children, who are part of the Children’s Miracle Network, and families to dance. Various groups, such as Rince na gCathrach Cruachthe competitive Irish dance team, and Pitt Bravo performed on the day of the dance marathon.

Harris Jayson, a sophomore in human resources management and marketing, spent about nine and a half hours at the dance marathon on Saturday. At the event, Jayson took part in a game of dodgeball with other Red Team members, made tote bags and rode an inflatable obstacle course with some of the kids.

Jayson said he enjoys participating in these various activities, which he and others who attended PDM virtually last year were unable to do.

“It was great to have the event in person,” Jayson said.

Jayson said he enjoyed interacting with the other teams at the event and seeing the kids enjoying the different games. That day.

“There was a sense of community,” Jayson said. “I know everyone was really excited to raise money for the kids.”

Jayson individually raised $250, and his group, Zeta Beta Tauraised $1,201.

PDM, in tandem with Greek Week, also organized a fashion show with miracle children. This year, the fashion show took place on March 2.

“I love the fashion show,” Kappler said. “We have a fashion show every year for the miracle kids. You can see the kids in their element. You can see them being happy and excited.

Berry said this is the second in-person dance marathon she has participated in. As a senior, Berry said she loved watching others experience their first in-person dance marathon.

“It’s so exciting to see all of our efforts,” Berry said. “Most of our staff never attended the event in person, except for our seniors. It’s exciting for our seniors to see other staff benefit from what we’ve done.

Despite all the exciting games, performances and dances, Colleen Gieringer, Membership Director at PDM, said talking to the families of the Miracle Kids was her favorite part of the dance marathon.

“It was really a bit overwhelming to start with, I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Gieringer, a rehabilitation science student. “But I was so blown away. The whole Pitt community showed up for us and for this amazing cause.

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