As a senior at Butler University, I am lucky to be a part of a nationwide movement for one cause – to keep fighting to give kids hope. After dancing for 12 hours on Saturday, February 3, our university of 5,000 students raised, $301,756.20 to benefit Riley Hospital for Children making us 2nd in the nation for fundraising for schools less than 12,000 students. In my four years, I have supported Riley’s mission and cancer research by raising $1,292,563.42, all For the Kids, FTK.
Beyond the dollar signs, my experience has been more than numbers on poster boards. My journey started as a first year on campus joining a small committee in which I recruited dancers for the event on campus. My passion was ignited and later served as Director of Marketing, Director of Alumni, and President of Internal. In four short years, I’ve not only gained leadership skills, I’ve developed relationships with my fellow peers and the Riley families. Most importantly, I found my passion for philanthropic giving and my heart for the kids.
Thousands of collegiate students participate in dance marathons across the nation, I’ve been fortunate enough to give my efforts back to Riley Hospital for Children and cancer research. Everyone has a different reason for dancing and Grace Langford, our Director of Marketing, dances for her “good friend, Ben, who was diagnosed for Ewing Sarcoma a week before our high school graduation… currently fighting through another session of chemotherapy. The research that Riley does for the kids goes beyond even children at Riley. It is for people who are suffering from disease that have no been well researched and for our future children.” Our marathon benefits Sarah Michelle Cohen, a former president’s sister who passed away before she could attend Butler but we dance each year in her memory for her passion and love for Riley.
When asked to describe the impact BUDM has on not only the Butler community, but the Indianapolis community as a whole, executive members (Matina Halikias, Justin Poythress, Sarah Thuet, and Nicole Truss) came together and said, “Inspirational. Passionate. Life-changing. Purposeful. Impact. FUN.”
To a stranger, our organization is hard to comprehend. Our Director of Riley Relations, Emily Nettesheim, describes BUDM as “an organization of college students committed to the children of Indiana and America. We dance in hopes of a day where no parent outlives their child. Until then, we raise awareness and funds… this year-long effort culminates in a one final fundraising push before revealing our annual fundraising total and celebrate the impact that 500+ college students can have on building a better tomorrow.” During the day of event, the Riley families and students come together to raise awareness in the best way possible with dancing, food, games, and sometimes even mechanical bulls and bounce houses!
BUDM 2018 has come to a close, but we’re full in swing for next year already but before moving on to next year… Thank you. Thank you to all the supporters of a few twenty something year olds with a dream. Thank you to corporate sponsors, advisers, friends, and families, who help us make our dreams come true so one day no parent has to ever hear the words “your child has cancer.”
If you want to learn more about BUDM, head here.