Students Danced the Night Away to Benefit Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

On Jan. 24 and 25, approximately 150 students, staff, and alumni at the College of the Holy Cross danced the night away in the Hogan Campus Center Ballroom and raised $30,755 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation at the annual dance marathon hosted by the student group Holy Cross Dance Marathon (HCDM). Participants danced from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., while the HCDM committee conducted various games, activities, and educational videos and talks. In addition to the marathon participants, an additional 70 students paid a $3 entrance fee to “Club DM” as the ballroom was transformed into a dance club mid-marathon from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m., another way for students to contribute to the cause.

With the theme “Movie Montage,” participants danced the night away as each hour represented a different movie genre. HCDM is unique because it is the only event that goes from morning to night on campus, says Ashely Dhaim ’15, co-chair of the event. Dhaim says they ask students to be "Up 4 the Fight," meaning  they do not sit for the entire night.

According to Dhaim, fundraising comes strictly through the donations that dancers receive. They ask each dancer to raise a minimum of $100 to participate, but most dancers raise more than that. Strategies for fundraising include sending emails to friends and families, baking cookies, or even giving up Starbucks for a month to save money for the cause.

Planning for this event takes over a year to perfect, says Dhaim.  “In the spring we get our steering committee of about 35 people together to start brainstorming and outlining some responsibilities that some committees have over the summer. However, planning kicks into high gear the first week we are back in classes for the fall semester and goes all the way up to the day of the event.”

Founded in 1988, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation seeks to prevent pediatric HIV infections and to eliminate pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy and prevention and treatment programs throughout the world.

EGPAF is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of pediatric HIV infections and the elimination of pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention, care, and treatment programs.  We all dance in the hopes to see a future in which no child has AIDS. Pediatric AIDS is a completely preventable disease since there is medicine to prevent mother to child transmission during utero, so this is possible.