This year, the 11th annual Riley Dance Marathon takes place on April 28 from 6 p.m to 10 p.m. at Plainfield High School. Throughout the school year, the Riley Dance Marathon Committee does a variety of fundraisers for Riley Hospital for Children. Families come to Riley more than 350,000 times a year, which has made them one of the nation’s premier children’s hospitals. 

Members who are a part of the committee are responsible for raising money by having a personal fundraiser page through the official Riley website, where they are able to accept online donations from family and friends. They also participate in the Gray Brothers pie sale and help with events such as the Powder Puff football game, which was reinstated during Homecoming Week this year.

“They are also responsible for reaching out to local businesses for corporate donations and calling restaurants to get food donated for the event,” stated Riley Dance Marathon Co-Coordinator, Rachel Freeman “Students help the night of the event by picking up food from restaurants, setting up games and running the dodgeball and basketball tournaments during the event.”

The actual “dance marathon” is the culmination of these efforts – though dancing is not required. The evening consists of games, activities, music, speeches from Riley families and then the big reveal of how much money has been raised for Riley Children’s Hospital. In the 2021-2022 school year, RDM raised $34,010.84 – the highest total to date.

Students will be spending the evening engaged in numerous fun games, such as a basketball and dodgeball tournament, zumba, an inflatable obstacle course, a live band made up of PHS students and lots of free food. Tickets will be on sale during lunch from April 24-28 for $15; they will also be available at the door the night of the event. All monies raised will go directly to Riley Children’s Hospital, who stated, “Every child deserves world-class pediatric healthcare.” 

Story by Gurneet Kaur