The Children's Specialized Hospital is known for being the nation's leading provider for the care of children ages 0 months to 21 years who face a variety of health challenges like chronic illnesses, brain injuries and behavioral issues.Throughout the year, different clubs and organizations at Kean University host bake sales, shows and events to raise money and awareness for a cause that will benefit those in need of aid.
In 2014, the Leadership Institute started Kean Dance Marathon (KDM), an annual event to help raise money for the Children's Specialized Hospital located in Mountainside, N.J. Since 2015, the Greek Senate has continued to raise large sums of money for the Children's Specialized Hospital so they can continue their mission in helping children, young adults and infants receive the specialized healthcare services they need.
KDM lasts for 12 consecutive hours, from noon to midnight. As noted in the name of the event, this is a marathon event where people dance all night long. Next year, KDM will be held on Friday, April 7, 2017.
"Right now, we really want the entire Kean University to come together and help raise money for this amazing cause," said Lauren Rosenthal. Rosenthal is a graduate student studying counseling clinical mental health and is the Graduate Assistant for Greek Affairs in the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS).
"Anyone can register for the event; a group of friends, a club, a sports team, whoever! If they are interested in helping us help the kids, then we want them for KDM."
Besides forming a team to help raise money for KDM, there are other ways students can help raise money for the Children's Specialized Hospital. Throughout the months leading up to KDM, Greek Senate and other organizations will be hosting fundraising events. But those who would like to create a team to help raise money can do so by visiting the KDM website at keandancemarathon.com.
Since KDM started in 2014, it has raised about $76,000. In 2016, a little over $38,000 was raised. Next year's goal is $40,000.
"We really want this to be an event that brings the Kean community together," said Rosenthal. "With all the negativity in the world, it is especially important to involve yourself with positive and uplifting things, and Kean Dance Marathon is exactly that."
2017 will be the first year that KDM will have a theme; the theme is the 90's. Rosenthal expects to see a lot of throwbacks during the event.
The Greek Senate hopes to see many people attend the event and dance the night away, while raising money for the Children's Specialized Hospital. There will be plenty of activities to do during the event besides dancing as well as food and drinks to replenish attendees. Attendees will also be able to purchase raffle tickets and have the chance to win several prizes.
"We hope that more people join us as we represent this generation fighting for the next," said Rosenthal. She continued to say that the slogan for KDM this year is "this generation fighting for the next" because "it shows that as a generation we can come together and help ourselves and, more importantly, help others."