COVID-19 could not stop the Kean community from coming together virtually to hold the annual Kean Dance Marathon (KDM).
This year's KDM included a week of Instagram events along with a KDM live stream. The week of events was titled Children's Hospitals Week 2020 and took place from April 6 to April 10. Every day, students were invited to spread awareness for KDM and the Children's Specialized Hospital by doing a variety of things on their Instagram pages.
"It was fun to plan the first virtual Kean Dance Marathon, but it was also a little stressful because we did not want to overwhelm the students with so many activities to participate in, but we wanted to make sure we had just enough to keep them engaged," said Graduate Intern of Greek Affairs Gabriella Lapointe.
The first day, titled Yellow Band Aid Day, challenged students to post a picture of themselves wearing something yellow. The second day, titled Tik Tok Tuesday, had students partaking in the #EverydayHeroes challenge on Tik Tok. The next day was What's your Why? day, where students posted a picture and explained why they dance and raise funds for the kids. The following day was Tell Us Thursday, in which students were encouraged to spread awareness about the Children's Specialized Hospital and KDM by posting anything they wanted. The week ended with For the Kids Friday, as students were reminded that staying home was a way to help the kids. Students were encouraged to post on Instagram what they were doing at home. For each of these virtual events, students could use the hashtags #togetherathome, #istayhomefor, #everydayheroes, #childrenhospitalweek and #forthekids, and tag KDM at @kdm_ftk to be featured on KDM's Instagram.
A virtual KDM was held following the Children's Hospital Week 2020. This virtual event occurred by way of an Instagram live stream on Friday, April 17. The live stream was a mixture of music played by DJ Nix in the Mix, trivia and testimonies.
"I think the event went very well! We had an average of about 60 participants steady throughout the entire event. I think this was the best that we could have done in order to still raise awareness for the kids, with our given situation, while still being able to offer the students a fun event," said Lapointe.
Although the virtual KDM event passed, KDM is still accepting fundraising until May 1, with 50 percent of the fundraising total going directly to the Children's Specialized Hospital's COVID-19 relief fund.
Currently, the top 6 fundraising teams are as follows:
- Delta Phi Epsilon- $3,779
- Team Nice Moooves- $1,570
- Lambda Theta Phi- $1,500
- Leadership Institute- $1,448.88
- Bergen Dance Marathon- $1,000
- They Are Our Heroes- $570
The current top 5 fundraising individuals are as follows:
- Lucas Lopez- $1,500
- Lou Raymondi- $1,350
- Gabriella Lapointe- $910
- Ashley Buchanan- $609
- Katie Lewandowski- $505
Students interested in getting involved in next year's KDM can send an Instagram direct message to @kdm_ftk to be a part of the planning committee. Students can look forward to KDM 2021, happening April 16, 2021.