Through events like the Gray Brothers Pie sale and the recently-reinstated Homecoming PowderPuff Football Game, the Riley Dance Marathon Committee works diligently to raise money for Riley Children’s Hospital – and this year is no exception.

“This is our 13th year for RDM. Mr. Rodkey first introduced RDM to Plainfield,” said Riley Dance Marathon Co-Coordinator Rachel Freeman. “It used to be organized by the Student Council and Athletic Leadership Council. As it grew, we made an actual Riley Dance Marathon Club.” Another organization that has also begun fundraising for RDM is the National Honor Society, and since then, it “has been huge, since it’s such a big group in the building,” she said. In the last year, the RDM committee raised its largest amount – $34,000 – and Freeman hopes for more clubs/organizations to pitch in with the fundraising projects.

“I’d like to see more clubs join our fundraising efforts,” said Freeman. “This is something we are looking at for next year – how we can get even more students involved in RDM.”

During the month of April, the RDM Committee hosts the annual marathon, an event where attendees can enjoy games, activities and music. “The event itself is fun, but it’s really the goal of raising money for Riley that is important,” said Freeman. “Helping those kids and their families is what’s important.” 

Also during the event, Riley families get a chance to speak; at the end, the total amount raised is announced. For Freeman, the best part of the fundraising is hearing that the committee’s efforts are changing the lives of Riley families. 

“Listening to the Riley families speak is always one of my favorite things,” said Freeman. “Knowing that all the work we are doing is helping these families makes it all come together.”

Story by Tiba Altower