By Ana | February 26, 2012
This year was my first year as a participant in Buckeyethon and all I can say is WOW–I really missed out the first two years!!
Buckeyethon is a 12 hour long dance marathon that raises money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in downtown Columbus. A few months before Buckeyethon, participants ask friends and relatives for donations to their dancer fund, join teams of other dancers, and prepare to stand up for all 12 hours against pediatric cancer.
That’s right–you don’t sit down at all during Buckeyethon. The idea is that we are standing up to cancer for all of the people who can’t. And it was HARD! It began at 8 pm and went through the night until 8 am. The kids went home later in the evening, but they came back in the morning for closing ceremonies.
The best part was getting to meet the children we were dancing for. Each team had a different color and sponsored two children. My team, the black team, sponsored Devin, a 6 year old, and Aaliyah, a 16 year old. We all got to meet both of them and spend time with them, along with many other children and their families. Despite everything these kids go through, they were so excited and happy to be at Buckeyethon with us. They were so energetic and full of life. You wouldn’t know they had cancer just by looking at them. They are some of the strongest and more courageous people I’ve ever met.
The kids are SO happy to be there with us. To them, it’s better than Christmas, or their birthdays. (And don’t worry–they can sit down anytime they want!) There were several activities to do with the kids if you didn’t want to dance the whole time, like face painting–except it turned into body painting!
Little Avalon, in a Princess Belle dress, drew on participants and even glammed it up by putting rhinestones on our faces, too! Despite being in a wheelchair, she was the most, poised, gracious little girl I have ever met. When I thanked her for the rhinestones and told her I had enjoyed meeting her, she said, “Thank you, it was very nice to meet you too. I’m glad you like them!” What amazing manners for a girl who couldn’t have been more than seven or eight.
But that wasn’t all that was going on at Buckeyethon. One of the dance teams here at OSU gave up some of their time to give some Buckeyethon participants dance lessons. There was a yoga class. There was Mario Kart racing on a Wii in the basement of the Union. And Aveda students came to cut hair to donate to Wigs for Kids. This girl had over 12 inches of her hair cut!!
Even Gordon Gee came to Buckeyethon for a little while! He got up on the stage in the ballroom and told us all how proud he was of us. He even danced the cupid shuffle!
But my favorite part of Buckeyethon was not any of that wonderful stuff. It was hanging out with Devin and his sister Josie, playing volleyball with a pink balloon. Devin was having so much fun, he didn’t want to go home!
I just noticed that in this picture you can also see that one of the kids absolutely went crazy with marker on my leg!
At the end of the night, they revealed how much money we had all raised for Nationwide Children’s–$454, 826.09. THAT’S ALMOST HALF A MILLION DOLLARS!!
Congratulations to everyone who participated in Buckeyethon this year, and to everyone who organized it to make it such a success. To each and every sponsor and donor, all I can say is WOW. We have all come together to create miracles for these children and their families.
I can’t even say how much I enjoyed Buckeyethon. Thank you to my sorority sisters who encouraged me to participate, some of whom played a huge role in organizing it all and making the evening run smoothly. Thank you to my wonderful friends and family who helped me reach my fundraising goal and who were so supportive. I am so excited for next year!
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