Kean Dance Marathon (KDM) is an event hosted by the Greek Senate every spring semester to raise funds for the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, NJ. It is a 12 hour long dance marathon in which members of the Kean community dance in place for the children that cannot themselves. Every year, the fundraising total from the last is surpassed, with this past year's total being the largest at $54,175.51 all #ForTheKids.
This large donation would not be possible without the various fundraising teams that spread the word and raise funds for this cause. Student groups on campus such as Greek letter organizations, The Leadership Institute, sports teams and any other student group that are willing and eager may participate. Students and members of the Kean community can even make a team with their peers regardless of if they are in a similar student group, or are not even involved in a student group.
Each group spreads the word and raises funds for their particular team. This can be done through a multitude of efforts such as hosting service events where the proceeds go to KDM, such as bake sales and even posting their team fundraising link on one's social media. On the day of KDM, all of the teams' funds are pooled into the large sum of donation for the Children's Specialized Hospital.
Even though KDM is hosted and planned by the Greek Senate, in recent years they have been spreading this fundraising effort all across campus. They use their best effort to get student groups that are not just Greek Letter organizations to also fundraise for KDM. They do this through many avenues, such as educating student groups and sports teams about KDM. This past year, the Men's Soccer Team raised the most amount of money out of any non-Greek student group.
The Men's Soccer team found out about KDM through Alex Louis, the director of Greek Life as he informed their coach Peter-John Falloon. As a team they had discussed becoming more involved in community service efforts, therefore when this opportunity was presented to them they were eager to contribute.
The team came together for the kids and held each other accountable in maintaining their fundraising goal. They posted the links to their team page on their social media as well as personally reached out to family, friends and alumni. Their coach also reminded them that even the smallest donations matter, which helped them to keep persisting.
Co-captain Philip Lopes said, "It feels great to donate to something bigger than yourself. It is such a great cause to help sick and injured kids who did not choose to be put in this position. It really makes you value your own life and be grateful for what you have."
Co-captain Alex Nicol said, "It also helped us as a team to really come together and help understand the bigger picture."
The team continues to strive to reach and surpass their goals on and off the field. They are going to be a team in the next KDM and hope to exceed last year's goal of $3,227, which will not be an easy feat, but will be worth it for the kids.