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Share the Wealth. CDM should consider sharing funds with other charities in addition to Riley Children’s Foundation.

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Undeniably one of the biggest events at this school every year, the Carmel Dance Marathon (CDM) continues to set and break its own record for the total amount raised by the school—last year’s record of $342,741.10 surpassed the previous year by about $20,000. The Riley Children’s Foundation website confirms this accomplishment by stating that CDM is currently the largest high school dance marathon in the country.

Indeed, the total amount of money raised by CDM has grown every year since its debut in 2006 in honor of Ashley Louise Crouse ‘02, who was very involved with IU’s Dance Marathon. CDM has achieved a cumulative total of over $1.6 million over its 10 years in existence. Each year, we can thank more than 1,000 dedicated students here—from the members of the executive council to the dancers who do it for the kids (FTK)—for the continued support throughout the entire school year that has allowed for the event to culminate into what it has become today. CDM’s tradition of supporting Riley in Crouse’s memory is certainly great, and so is the cause.

Clearly, the dedication and fortune of CHS students and the surrounding community allow for huge sums of money to be collected. There is no doubt that Riley Children’s Hospital is a worthy recipient of students’ time and donations. Riley uses donations for medical research, state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and much more to improve its service. However, with this amount of passion and success and given the fact that CDM has successfully passed the decade mark and is clearly here to stay, it’s time for CDM organizers to consider expanding their reach and supporting more than one charity.

With over 60 high schools, colleges and even middle schools in Indiana hosting dance marathons benefiting Riley, the foundation already receives millions of dollars in donations each year. Because of this and the fact that CDM has raised annual totals over $300,000 in recent years, CDM can definitely afford to share portions of the money raised with less popular charities while still giving a sizeable chunk to Riley in Crouse’s honor. Other schools have already set the lead on this. For example, Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon, the fourth largest student-run dance marathon in the world, has cumulatively raised millions of dollars in the past 40 years, which have benefited over 30 different organizations. Regardless of whether the charities donated to are local or more well-known, if we follow Northwestern’s example, not only would it financially help out more charities, but it could also bring some public attention to their causes and further help them out, spreading the love and having a greater impact.

We acknowledge that this year, just like every year, the student government has certainly done a great job to support additional worthy causes, as seen at Tailgate for Life, which donated to the American Cancer Society; Empty Bowls, which donated to Second Helpings; and the recent Disco Dance, which donated to Special Olympics. But unlike these other worthy events, CDM brings with it an added sense of urgency, attention and prestige. Why not use this opportunity to not only continue to support Riley at an extremely high level but also showcase other charities as well?

 

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