Greek Senate hosted the annual Kean Dance Marathon (KDM) in Harwood Arena Friday, April 12 with a multitude of fundraising and activities. This 12-hour event concluded the fundraising efforts made throughout the year. Although KDM was a night of fun, everyone came to support an important cause: the children at the Children's Specialized Hospital.
The KDM Committee, responsible for spearheading the event this year’s event, consisted of the following students: Gabriela Lapointe, Victor Benlice, Roshorn Shivers Jr., Emely Hernandez, Oreoluwa Awoleya, Jonathan Ibarra, Lucas Lopez, Nathaneal Jenkins, Briana Ortiz and Sofia Rodrigues. They collaborated with Graduate Intern for Greek Affairs Ashley Buchanan and Greek Life Specialist Melissa Antonio to bring about a successful KDM.
Partnering with the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, New Jersey, the Greek Senate was able to provide funds for research for children with health challenges such as autism, mobility, cognition, brain injury and chronic illness.
In accordance with the superhero theme, students flooded Harwood Arena in costumes and normal attire, excited with the opportunity to partake in this creative idea.
After students and guests arrived, everyone came together and formed a circle, symbolizing the beginning of KDM 2019. The Opening Ceremony transitioned to the first Minute to Win It game. Each person took a string of the yarn and threw the ball around, creating a big knot. The point of the game was to show that everyone is interconnected and through that connection the kids will have the support they need.
After the opening ceremony, Jumpstart Specialist Omar Dixon taught attendees a special KDM dance that would be performed every hour as a fun, lighthearted activity to keep students moving.
Next, a new Minute to Win It game was introduced by Greek Senate President Gabriella Lapointe. The game consisted of contestants placing cookies on their faces while trying to maneuver them into their mouths. It was both an entertaining and creative way to build competition and companionship and garner laughs from the crowd.
Lapointe also asked contestants to show off their super suits in the next Minute to Win It game. The game consisted of five teams of five battling each other to see who could make the best superhero outfit out of rolls of toilet paper. The crowd was overflowing with eagerness for each contestant to make the best super suit.
Throughout the event, guests purchased raffle tickets to try their chance at winning amazing prizes. Some of the raffle prizes included: a spa basket, study basket, girl scout cookies, game night, Greek Senate windbreaker, Children's Specialized Hospital windbreaker, New Jersey Devils swag windbreaker, painting bin, baking basket and other interesting options.
Aside from the Minute to Win It games, activities like a superhero mask making station, large Connect Four, large chess, corn hole, Jenga, Twister, a photo station and henna were provided. The henna station was adorned with interesting choices for guests eager to get the temporary tattoo while the mask stations were a fun way for guests to create a memory with KDM 2019.
Continuing with the Minute to Win It games, apple stacking was challenging yet amusing, giving the participants and audience a chance to cheer for each other.
For all the active individuals at KDM, they had a chance to get fit with The Max Challenge gym in a workout challenge that tested the participants' athletic abilities. Bringing a childhood favorite back to life, musical chairs was available for people to participate in for a competitive but humorous activity while popular songs played in the background.
Not only were students able to listen to good music provided by DJ Ni, but they were also able to participate in Greek sing. Greek sing allowed Greek organizations like Delta Phi Epsilon, Sigma Beta Tau, Omega Sigma Psi, Sigma Theta Chi, Theta Phi Alpha, Nu Sigma Phi, Nu Theta Chi and Nu Delta Pi to showcase their talents for a good cause. Delta Phi Epsilon sang "Cups (Pitch Perfect's 'When I'm Gone')" with a riff off skit from Pitch Perfect, Sigma Beta Tau rapped and did a rendition of "YMCA" and "Old Town Road", Omega Sigma Psi danced, Sigma Theta Chi performed renditions of "Stacy's Mom" and other songs, Theta Phi Alpha performed a dance routine and sang, Nu Sigma Phi sang and Nu Theta Chi danced.
After five judges consulted among each other, Buchanan announced the winners. For sororities, the winners are as follows:
- First place: Omega Sigma Psi
- Second place: Theta Phi Alpha
- Third place: Nu Theta Chi
- Fourth place: Delta Phi Epsilon
For fraternities the winners are as follows:
- First place: Nu Sigma Phi
- Second place: Sigma Theta Chi
- Third place: Nu Delta Pi
- Fourth place: Sigma Beta Tau
Four hours in, guests were able to sing and display their vocal abilities as well. Nadya Diaz, a junior studying therapeutic recreation, was one of the guests who graced the stage, performing "Hero" by Mariah Carey.
Testing the knowledge of the guests, another Minute to Win It game was introduced. Superhero Jeopardy was displayed on the screens for people to shout out the answers as well as answer via phone. Shortly afterwards, one of Kean's Zumba instructors introduced people to dance fitness.
KDM was not just for Greek life but other departments and clubs who made their presence known like the Poetry Club, Kean Gospel Choir, Kean Dance Theatre, Afro Latinx Club and many more.
Beside the tables full of activities and prizes, posters and papers were printed to show the various children that would be aided because of this event. Some of the children included were Izzy, Vinny, Angie, Bryce and Abby, who had the pleasure to attend KDM along with her mother.
"Abby was just like any other child that loves swimming. Then she was paralyzed, and we were crushed. When we got to the Children's Specialized Hospital, she started [off] slowly, but when we left the hospital she could walk and we owe it all to the hospital, therapists and the help we received," said Abby's mother as the crowd applauded.
To finish off the event, Louis called for the remaining guests to gather around the stage for the results while the people on stage were turned around, building suspense for the number. Everyone sang along to "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten and waved their hands in celebration of a tremendous event.
Once the song was done, the papers were turned around, the numbers were shuffled and each paper fell to the ground, revealing the total amount raised. Greek Senate raised $54,175.51, beating last year's total of $53,875.52!
Since the first KDM in 2014, Greek Senate has raised over $230,000 for the Children's Specialized Hospital, providing ample opportunities and enhanced care for the children there.
"It was for the kids—not for me or any of us," Louis said. "You are the voices for the kids at the hospital because of your hard work and dedication. We know it's not easy, but you made it worthwhile. Thank you!"