Dance marathon will help pediatric cancer patients

Three Marshalltown High School students have planned an event aimed at helping kids with cancer – the Marshalltown Dance Marathon.

Joe Cahill, a senior, Bryce King and Molly Major, juniors, have planned the event set for 7 to 11 p.m. March 1 at the Midnight Ballroom. All the proceeds from the event will go to pediatric cancer patients at the University of Iowa. Admission is $10.

“It’s hard to find a reason not to donate to this cause,” Cahill said. “Just about everyone knows someone who is affected by cancer, whether it’s a family member, a co-worker, a friend, it’s a problem that can affect everyone. It’s a really good cause and a fun way to give towards that cause.”

The event will feature performances from the MHS Latin dance group, Dance Konnection and the MHS show choir, South Side Transit.

“They can dance, watch the other performances, there will be food and beverages there and you can stay the whole time or as long or little as you like,” Cahill said.

The students have been planning the event since September in their Extended Learning Program (ELP) class.

Susan Fritzell, ELP teacher, said the idea for the event came to her attention when one of her previous students attending the University of Iowa said he was planning a dance marathon at the college and asked if any of her current students would like to plan one in Marshalltown.

“The three of them were excited and interested in doing this,” Fritzell said. “It’s a perfect real-world opportunity for the kids to not only serve the community, but learn organizational skills, public speaking skills, leadership skills, working as a team skills, etc.”

Fritzell was not involved in the planning or creation of the event.

“They are in charge,” Fritzell said. “They take leadership and responsibility and I am there to support. It’s not my thing, it’s theirs.”

It was a new experience for the students and they said it was fun to plan.

“I thought it was fun because my sister had just enrolled in the University of Iowa and she was planning a dance marathon there and we were planning a dance marathon here,” Major said. “It was fun to talk to her about it.”

The students said they encourage the entire community to come to the event.

“The event is open for everyone,” Cahill said. “We really want a large turnout of community members including adults and students. The music isn’t limited to just one age group.”

There is no reason not to go to the event, King said.

“It helps out with pediatric cancer and it’s dancing,” King said.

Fritzell said she also encourages the community to come.

“We don’t want this to be a teenage event,” Fritzell said. “If kids from East or West Marshall want to come they are very welcome. So hopefully it will be a community event, not just a high school event.”

Tickets to the event can be purchased at the door.