DM REACHES AN ALL-TIME HIGH IN FUNDRAISING EFFORTS
On May 14th, 2011 over 500 District 219 students gathered together in their ninth annual Dance Marathon “Night-Of” Celebration held this year at Niles North High School. The event is the culmination of the students’ yearlong fundraising efforts for School Chest, which raised more than $85,000 for the 2010-11 school year. The proceeds will benefit Refugee One, a not-for-profit organization that provides services to refugees and immigrants resettling in the Chicago metropolitan area. It is their mission to create opportunities for refugees fleeing war, terror and persecution to build new lives of safety, dignity, and self-reliance. A secondary beneficiary is the District 219 Education Foundation for Excellence, which helps students in need improve their academic performance.
The Refugee One organization including Executive Director, Greg Wangerin and Joan Leech, Director of Development and External Relations attended the popular DM event, along with approximately 500 dancers, supporters, well-wishers, faculty, staff and community members. The object of the Dance Marathon is to stay on one’s feet and keep dancing from 5 pm until midnight. To keep their spirit up, dancers made many costume changes, and the Niles North Filipino Club, Niles North Vikettes, Niles North Auroris Dance Company and Niles West Orchesis Dance Company performed. At the evening’s end, D219 Superintendent Dr. Nanciann Gatta along with Greg Wangerin took the stage and congratulated the students for their effort and dedication to make this year’s Dance Marathon extraordinary.
Dance Marathon, an organization well known at D219 high schools was created to coordinate the fundraising efforts of Niles North and Niles West into one unified goal: to raise money for a common cause and awareness. Students are involved in all aspects of School Chest, including: identifying and interviewing applicants from charities; selecting the final beneficiary; and planning all the details for Dance Marathon and other fundraising/ special events throughout the year. This year’s phenomenal success was made possible by the classes, clubs, teams and organizations that raised money on behalf of Dance Marathon this year. Bake sales, donations, auctions, concerts, as well as other events held, were all responsible for this year’s success. The support of corporate sponsorships, such as this year’s Official Sponsor, S.S.F. Repair, along with donations from BOOM Entertainment and the generous helpings of food from many local restaurants, added the fuel that kept students going for the seven hours.
But mainly, what kept the students going, was the fact that by participating in this event, dancers could help children and adult refugees across the world. The students believed in one saying, “One Vision, One Goal, One Family” Refugee One. Because of this, students were able to motivate each other and work with a positive attitude.
DM sponsors include Niles North teachers Pankaj Sharma, Hyun Briski, James Haberl and Charles Pratt, as well as Niles West Sponsors Jessica Ogulnik and Dena Lichterman.
The DM Executive Board included, from Niles North: Jay Patel, Kulsum Siddiqui, Annie Dufficy, Fadi Kreisheh, Grace Han, Hiba Ahmed, Andy Lin, Max Barov, Maya Erf, Cyatharine Alias, Diala David, Melissa Dominguez, Wendy Hou, Ayrie Gomez, Eryn Jacobson, Krunal Bodalia, Alissa Burke, Justine Penaflorida, Mona Munshi, Reny Mathew, Samantha Roti, Sarah Choe, Jordan Weiss, Ruthie Browar, Winston Chien, Arbela Bithyou, Rahwa Sebhat, Roumiana David, Zain Lakhani, Brian Oh, Teresa Khoshaba, Giancarlo Regacho, Jason Park, Rachel Spector, Sarah Levine, Sonali Patel, Matt Wong, Alexis Lehrman, Aminah Jafri, Diana Kumar, Joy Sugihara, Harsh Patel, Henrietta Cho, Nyree Khamo , and Swati Goyal. From Niles West: Loren Lewin, Lauren Wilkin, Becky Darling, Nicole Moy, Jeric Agnes, Alvin Lee, Ryan Marohn, Kathy La, Maria Rodriguez, Sadia Ansari, Cristina Castro, Maria Dekhtyar, Madeleine Schmidt, Lia Sacks, and Amy Chow