Mosaic / May 3, 2017

Dance-a-Thon brings awareness to Haiti

Professor Katya Reno’s son Oliver (center) plays with the lights with Professor Daniel Beers’ children Elliott (left) and Theo (right). (Photo courtesy of Shresha Karmacharya)

As Assistant Professor of Political Science Daniel Beers prepares to leave Knox, students involved in his non-profit organization, Resources to Resources, had started to form their own student-run chapter. The organization was formed after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and its purpose is to raise funds for victims of the earthquake through microsavings as well as promoting financial literacy.

The club’s first attempt at organizing a big event came to fruition this weekend, as students participated in a Dance-a-Thon, intending to dance for as long as they could for an 18-hour period. Each hour consisted of a different theme of music: from 2000s era, to Bollywood, to Musicals and K-pop.

Junior and Co-President Karen Armendariz was drawn to the parent organization after being a student of Beers for the past three years and wanting to continue his efforts after he leaves. She feels that this type of fundraising is more beneficial to those in need than traditional fundraising methods.

“It’s very different because it’s something, it really helps people start with their own initiative. It gives them more freedom and independence to start a business by themselves and this is more sustainable in a way that they’re using what they’re good at to sustain a business,” Armendariz said.

As an International Relations major, Armendariz studies development and the different ways to interpret and approach it. To her, Resources to Resources coincides with her values what she feels the best approach is.

Sophomore Ojashwi Sapkota, Co-President of Resources to Resources explained that participants of the Dance-a-Thon were to be on the dance floor for as many hours as they can, and that the group or individual who remained dancing the longest would win a prize. For groups, two members of the group had to be on the dance floor for their group to count.

She mentioned that some of the groups had been dancing for over 12 hours, and that participants went as far to bring their own blankets for resting when taking shifts.

Sapkota was satisfied with the turnout of the event, and feels that the weather may have been the largest contributor to any lack of participants. Despite the weather, she feels that the event brought attention to the club and its cause. She considers the organization to be appealing to herself and other students who wish to see the impact of their time and funds.

“Just to directly see the effects of that, I think is amazing and something that is very unique. There are so many other fundraiser events that you don’t know where it’s going or if it’s actually helpful or not. It’s not clear or coherent,” she said.

Armendariz treated the Dance-a-Thon as the club’s first attempt at planning an event without the help of Beers, in order to prepare to continue club events following his departure.

“It was very much a learning process and it was a way for us to see how we want to approach this next year,” Armendariz said. “I would say the second goal is that we want to really figure out what kind of events work on campus and what kind of events we want to do in the future as well.”

Though she considers the event to have been a success, she views it as the starting point of the club’s development, and hopes to continue organizing events and workshops throughout the next few years.

Sophomore Julia Steen, a participant of the Dance-a-Thon, feels that a highlight of the event was the support and collaboration from other clubs and organizations.

“I wish there was a little more of a group dynamic where we were gathered all together. We tried to merge with other groups, and were unsuccessful,” Steen said.

Another participant, sophomore Irene Stephenson, enjoyed the interpretive dance competition during the early parts of the night, but wishes there was more student input on the hourly theme choices.

“An entire hour of Shakira was too much,” Stephenson said. “The idea of a Shakira hour is great until you realize you really only know two Shakira songs.”

While Steen and Stephenson weren’t determined to win, they thought the event was well organized and feel that the event was overall a good way to get Knox students involved in with the Global community.

Caballero noted that the fundraiser raised around $600, and that the club intends to continue partnering up with various organizations, particularly Greek organizations. She hopes to continue to spread information and awareness about the benefits of microsavings programs.

Sam Jacobson, Co-News Editor
Sam Jacobson is a junior majoring in philosophy and potentially minoring in creative writing or psychology. She started volunteer writing during spring term of her freshman year, and worked as a staff writer during her sophomore year.

Tags:  A awareness dance Haiti Thon

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