By Kayly Coleman / Staff Writer and Christian Rosario / Editor-In-Chief
At first glance it seems like a party meant purely for pleasure. But the motivation goes beyond this--every dancer had the responsibility of at least $100 attached to their name.
Participants danced the night away during a mini dance-a-thon on March 22 in Raritan Valley Community College's gymnasium. The dance-a-thon was hosted by the school's Programming Board, and proceeds from the dancers' sponsors benefited the Every ONE Counts Campaign, which helps pay back money owed for the Bateman Center.
The theme of the night, Lion’s Pride Across the Generations, was represented by the diverse music played. The event started with local band Rock on Wood performing classic rock hits from the 1960’s to the present. The guitarist for the band, Mike Machnik, is the Executive Director of Instructional Technology at RVCC.
DJ Drivvin, who performed at the college’s Club Recruitment Day in September and currently performs at Fire n Ice in Fords, NJ, also provided music, playing a new genre every 10-15 minutes.
“Dancing for over an hour and a half non stop may have been tiring”, said Programming Board member Justin Fanders, “but it was exciting and I’m glad to have raised money for the student center.” Fanders and 25 other participants were encouraged to dance for at least 100 minutes at the event and raise a minimum of $100 from sponsors beforehand.
Event organizers, including freshmen Corinne Cronheim and Akil Patterson, as well as sophomores Kelly Christopher and Amanda Lee, all enjoy the new student center and are eager for the third floor to open. When asked their favorite part of the building, several students mentioned the student lounge. “The couches are my favorite part! They look so nice,” Lee said.
Three judges, which included Cronheim; Russell Barefoot, Director of Student Life; and Marianne Brosnan, an academic advisor and a former dance-a-thon dancer at Rutgers University, gave out medals to the winners of awards. Sophomore Karina Palacios won best overall dancer and danced for the full duration.
Other awards included the top, second and third place Overall Dancers and top three Best Fundraisers, as well as People’s Choice, Most Energetic, Up and Coming and Most Spirit. 25 prizes were given to dancers, volunteers, alumni and door prize winners, including movie tickets, gift cards and a voucher for a free t-shirt from the Golden Lion Bookstore.
Although 50 dancers registered for the event, only 25 dancers participated, and event organizers were hoping that more alumni would attend the dance-a-thon. However, Programming Board and Student Life still want to hold a similar event in the future.
“We might want to make it on a Thursday or Friday night,” Kelly said. “Some people would not want to drive to RVCC on a Saturday night after spending their weekdays there.”
According to Alaysha Walker, Assistant Director of Student Life and Chair of the EveryONE Counts Campaign, the mini dance-a-thon raised at least $2,500 for the Everyone Counts Campaign, and more money is still being counted.
The EveryONE Counts Campaign started last September and has already reached their goal of raising $25,000 for the Bateman Center. The RVCC Foundation will match the amount raised by the campaign. The Capital Campaign at RVCC seeks to pay back $2.75 million borrowed from Hunterdon and Somerset County freeholders over 9 years.
The third floor of the student center is funded by donations and fundraisers and will not be taken from the EveryONE Counts Campaign. The plan for this floor will depend on student feedback and how the administration views students using the rest of the Bateman Center.
This article was edited on April 15, 2014.