Marisa Beaty has been dancing with a cause since her freshman year.
Beaty, a Butler University senior, is a member of the school’s chapter of Dance Marathon (BUDM), a non-profit movement involving college and high school kids across the country that is dedicated to helping families and hospitals with the financial and emotional rigors that come with pediatric cancer.
“[BUDM] has made me look at my life differently,” Beaty, who served as morale co-director last year, said. “It has taught me to ask, on a daily basis, questions like, ‘How can I reach out?’ and, ‘What can I do to make someone happy?’”
Butler’s chapter hosted the 12-hour-long event at in January, but planning for next year has already begun.
The executive board just held their annual summer retreat, where they decided on the theme for the upcoming year: Space Jam.
“We felt that the Space Jam theme would be heavily popular during Block Party and would be a fun theme to have over the course of the year,” Jake Allen, BUDM Executive Board member said. “We believed that we could incorporate a basketball moxy through some of our events that would draw in students since basketball nearly ‘runs’ our campus.”
For the remainder of summer, the executive board will be doing further planning and fundraising.
“The summer is a great time to start gathering addresses of family members and friends so that when it is time to send letters requesting donations, there is one less step involved,” Beaty said of some of her summer duties. “Once school starts, everyone becomes busier, which makes it a bit more difficult to get things rolling.”
BUDM also will be hosting a water balloon fight on campus Sept. 16, as well as a golf outing with discounted rates for students on Sept. 25.
Once the academic year is in full swing, Butler students involved with BUDM will raise awareness about the event so that they can meet their fundraising goal, which Beaty said has raised from last year.
The executive board said it hopes to raise $130,000 for Indianapolis-based Riley Hospital for Children and have 400 participants.
Last year, BUDM raised $102,877.20 for the Riley kids, according to BUDM’s Facebook.
Besides the dancing and the fundraising, BUDM allows the opportunity for its participants to meet and form relationships with families that are dealing with pediatric cancer.
Through her years with BUDM, Beaty has built a strong relationship with a cancer survivor named Mickey.
“Mickey has had one of the worst walks in life, but she has done it with the best attitude,” Beaty said. “She inspires me daily.”