As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, last night was BuckeyeThon, a twelve hour dance marathon that aims to raise money for cancer research, specifically research that benefits children. I went last night, full of energy, hope and excitement. I came away with my back in a bit of pain and so ready for an 8-hour nap (which I took). But it’s one of the best experiences going to BuckeyeThon. You get to dance your ass off, you meet some of the kids you’ve raised money and danced for, and you get to participate in the biggest fundraising dance marathon of its kind in the country! There’s nothing like the high of knowing that.

And I’m serious about the biggest marathon of its kind in the country. BuckeyeThon 2014 is estimated to have drawn upwards of 3600 participants this year, each fundraising at least a hundred dollars and many going well beyond that (I aimed for two-thousand but didn’t make it). It’s pretty amazing.

I can’t go into everything that happened last night, but I’ll give some of the highlights and a few photos too, plus a video. First let me tell you that the people who go to BuckeyeThon are divided into color-themed teams. I was on the Blue Team this year, and I dressed the part.

Allons-y!

Allons-y!

Some of you are thinking, What is he dressed up as? Others are thinking, Is he holding a sonic screwdriver? And one or two of you are thinking Go Michigan! I’m going to ignore the people thinking the last one and explain: I went last night as the Blue Doctor (please somebody be thinking, Blue Doctor? WHO is that?) Besides showing how overly obsessed with Doctor Who I am, I think the Doctor would totally get into something like this, which is why I went as him…if he were me and on the Blue Team. But hey, I was wearing a blue bowtie and had a sonic screwdriver and I was TARDIS blue the whole night. It kind of worked.

South Six 5. Don't let the Bieber hair full you, they're much better than him.

South Six 5. Don’t let the Bieber hair full you, they’re much better than him.

And we had a wild night. There was a whole lot of dancing, there was a rave DJ at one point, a dance instructor who sent women and some men into frenzies with his dancing which we were supposed to imitate, a concert with local band South Six 5 (check out photo) and a morale dance, which is like a huge flash mob we learn the steps to throughout the night.

And at around 8 in the morning, we broke with a singing of the school song Carmen Ohio before going home to sleep and let the second shift have their party (did I mention that there are two shifts to this thing? Half the dancers take one 12-hour shift overnight, the other half have a 12-hour shift over the course of Saturday). After I got home and showered, I slept till about five in the afternoon, got up, and ate, did some homework, cleaned my room (it needed it), and then went back to the Union where all this takes place.

There we heard stories from the families of the kids we were helping to cure, as well as some of the people who helped organize and set up BuckeyeThon, as well as other dance marathons from around the country. And we heard a story from a man who helps set up dance marathons across the country. He told us about a kid he knew who had survived cancer and had been in and around these dance marathons for a good chunk of his life. The kid said something like this: “When I was growing up, I heard we were in the generation that would find the cure for cancer. It’s not true: we are the cure for cancer.” Hearing that was pretty spectacular, and it’s kind of true. Even if we’re not doctors or nurses or chemists coming up with new drugs and treatments or monitoring these kids heart rates, we have been instrumental in creating the means to cure cancer. It’s really amazing.

This photo is actually from the start of Buckeyethon, but whatever. You get the point.

This photo is actually from the start of Buckeyethon, but whatever. You get the point.

And then, in the packed Union (see that photo to the right), we learned how much we made. Slowly, the number was revealed on big sheets of cardboard: $767, 227.78. That’s nearly $150,000 m0re than last year’s amount! And I was so happy to have been part of that, even if my donations weren’t as high as some others (one girl raised $15,000 on her own. What is her secret?).

And now that I’ve said all that, I’d like to thank everyone who donated to me to support BuckeyeThon and the kids we helped. I was really a great experience and I was so happy to have so many people supporting me and to be with so many amazing people last night. I hope I can count on you all next year, when I do it again for the last time around. Hopefully I won’t cry too much when it happens.

Oh, lastly I want to show you the morale dance. Looks like someone posted a video of it this morning. Actually it’s the morale dance competition, when the various teams send two representatives to compete in doing the entire morale dance in front of the entire room. I got to represent the blue team, which was quite fun. You don’t see much of me in the video (mostly my arm) but you get to see the first-place and third-place teams do it, and it’s pretty fun to watch. Check it out.

That’s all for now. I’ll post more photos on my Facebook page and Twitter feed tomorrow. Until then, goodnight Followers of Fear.

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Comments
  1. dwhirsch says:

    I applaud Ohio State for their efforts to cure childhood cancer. That’s always a great cause, and dancing can be grueling but oh so rewarding.

    However, to address your comment above of BuckeyeThon being the “biggest fundraising dance marathon of its kind in the country,” I invite you to check out the website of the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) at http://www.thon.org.

    From THON’s website: <>

    Having danced in THON twice so far–once as an undergrad and once as an alum–I congratulate you on your achievement. THON is this weekend (Feb 21-22-23), and I hope you will find time to visit the site’s live webcast for inspiration to you and others for the future.

  2. dwhirsch says:

    Oops. My “From THON’s website” part above did not come through.
    Here is what the website states: “THON has grown to engage more than 15,000 students each year [that] culminates with a 46 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon known as THON Weekend. This event is held at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center each year in the month of February. In 2013, THON raised a record-breaking $12.37 million and was able to donate 96% of funds raised directly to the Four Diamonds Fund”

    • I’ve been lied to. We were told it was the biggest of its kind in the nation.

      • dwhirsch says:

        Nope, that’s PennState’s honor, but don’t discount what you do. It’s all “For The Kids” (or FTK, as we abbreviate it). I hope you do find some time this weekend to watch–breathless! If you want to see a truly amazing moment, tune in Sunday at 2pm for Family Hour when the families go on stage to tell their stories of success…and loss. Make sure you have a fresh box of tissues handy; I do every time. 🙂

      • I’ll keep it in mind. Thanks.

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