Katy Bennett

By

DanceBlue's Beginnings

Published: Feb 20, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2014) — For the past nine years, DanceBlue has grown to be a cause that is dear to many students, faculty, staff, alumni and citizens of the Commonwealth. Many are aware that DanceBlue is our 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund, however few know the story behind the joys and struggles that have gone into making DanceBlue what it is today.

 

It all started with Jarrett.

 

Jarrett Mynear, born April 16, 1989, is remembered as smart, quick witted and enthusiastic. Able to make friends wherever he went, Jarrett truly was a joy to all. The only thing that set him apart was his diagnosis of Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, at the age of 2. By the time he was 13, he was diagnosed with various forms of cancer six times.

 

Despite these obstacles, Jarrett took his condition and made it an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those around him. He became a humanitarian, a phenomenal public speaker and a local celebrity. He made appearances on the "Rosie O’Donnell Show"; walked President Clinton’s dog; started his own philanthropic organization, Jarrett’s Joy Cart; and witnessed the creation of his biography, "The Joy Cart" by Marvin Bartlett. Jarrett Mynear is remembered by his fighting spirit, and his determination to look past his life-threatening condition in order to help others.

 

Upon Jarrett’s passing in October 2002, his parents, Jennifer and Doug Mynear, sought to set up a memorial fund in his memory. During the last week of his life, Jarrett created a list of requests, which included raising funds for improvements and upgrades to the Pediatric Oncology Outpatient Clinic. Jennifer had Jarrett’s story, her knowledge of patient and family needs within the clinic, and the passion to fund this effort; however she sought out the help of Susannah Denomme, who works in UK's development office, for assistance due to her fundraising and professional skill set.

 

“We hit it off immediately, and the effort was a huge success," Jennifer Mynear said. "We raised more than $448,000 for the Jarrett Mynear Memorial Fund for the clinic.”

 

Throughout the process, Denomme had been sharing with her daughter and Penn State University student, Carolyn, about Jennifer Mynear’s efforts and determination. Carolyn at the time had just gotten involved with a campuswide organization called THON, which benefited the Pediatric Oncology Program at Hershey Medical Center, and is still the most successful student-led fundraiser in the world. After hearing of this, Jennifer Mynear was asked to meet Denomme for coffee, where she was shown a promotional video for Penn State’s THON.  Mynear and Denomme immediately felt it was a perfect fit for the University of Kentucky.

 

"We felt that the student body at UK, our alma mater, could benefit from a student-led activity to bring the campus together for something more than sports or a party," Mynear said, "and this event could be a diversified effort for something reaching beyond the boundaries of campus.”

 

The ball began to roll; Mynear and Denomme contacted Rhonda Strouse of the Office of Student Involvement for input and support. Meetings were then held with the Student Activities Board, Student Government Board, Panehellenic Council, as well as open meetings in the Student Center.

 

Denomme's tech-savvy husband, Mark, was able to put a “UK spin” on the THON video and, using that as a visual tool, they were able to speak about Jarrett, his Joy Cart and his message of “service above self.” They also spoke about what was raised so far for pediatric oncology and the future needs to care for the growing number of Kentucky children being diagnosed with cancer, as well as the logistics and the support that Penn State had offered.

 

Many students came forward in order to help, whether having known Jarrett personally, having seen his story through media outlets or simply wanting to do something meaningful beyond themselves.

 

“I still marvel how students came out for meetings, paid rapt attention and believed, as we did, that they would and could begin a new tradition, a new truly campuswide effort to make a tangible difference in the lives of children in our state," Jennifer Mynear said. "While (Denomme) and I introduced the idea for the first marathon, and initially helped get the doors opened in the community, it was the stellar students who led the way that made it happen. DanceBlue is, was and always will be student led, and that’s why it works.”

 

In it’s first year, DanceBlue was able to raise $123,323.16 for the Golden Matrix Fund and the Markey Cancer Center, breaking all fundraising records for a first-year dance marathon event.

 

“In the future, I see cancer research conducted right here at UK, funded by DanceBlue dollars, to help improve treatment options and increase successful outcomes, not only Kentucky's children, but children world-wide," Mynear said. "Wouldn't that be a legacy for the students!"

 

"I'm always so humbled and grateful for the first DanceBlue leadership team, led by the amazing Emily Pfeifer, who trusted Denomme and I unconditionally, and had the vision, leadership skills and fearlessness to build a solid foundation for something that will remain a part of UK," Mynear said. "Thank you to all of the students, faculty and staff who have given so much in so many ways – FTK! Lastly, and surely not least, thank you to my Jarrett, for leaving a legacy of love for others, service above self and turning tears into joy.”

 

“…There is good that comes out of this, [and there is a] reason for everything that happens in life.”  

—     Jarrett Mynear

 

DanceBlue is the University of Kentucky’s 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic. Now in its ninth year, DanceBlue has raised more than $5.1 million for cancer research and DanceBlue Clinic patients and families. DanceBlue 2014 will take place this weekend — Feb. 22 and 23 — at Memorial Coliseum on UK's campus. The marathon kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday and concludes at 2 p.m. Sunday.

 

Give to DanceBlue here and connect with DanceBlue on Facebook at www.facebook.com/danceblue and on Twitter at twitter.com/UKDanceBlue.

 

DanceBlue is a program housed in the UK Center for Community Outreach. The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote life-long community service. For more information about the CCO, visit getinvolved.uky.edu/cco.

dsc_6118_reveal_money.jpgdb_for_uknow.jpg
November
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
College of Pharmacy Open House
Iron Pour
UK Women's Choir 20th Anniversary Concert
Adventure Hiking & Rappelling @ Red River Gorge
Pickin' Time Mountain Music and Harvest Day
Purposeful Retirement: Planning Your Next Stage of Life
Diwali Dhoom 2014
Sat
2
UK Percussion Ensemble
Day Hike
Curator Tour: Take My Word For It
Sun
3
Industry Career Week: Resumes and Cover Letters
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Morehead State
Mon
4
Industry Career Week: How to Impress Your Boss in 90 Days
Rock Star Professionalism Series
UK Lab Band
Tue
5
Industry Career Week: Networking and Job Search
Social Enterprise and Innovation / Certified Nonprofit Professional Program Informational Meeting
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Appalachian Forum with Dr. Fran Ansley
Dana Harper Gallery Reception
Wed
6
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Zona Sur
LNFS Presents: The Grand Budapest Hotel
UK Jazz Ensemble
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Abstract Workshop
Lauren Potter
Thu
7
LNFS Presents: V for Vendetta
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Circle of Love Name Distribution
R.C. May Photography Lecture Series: Marvin Heiferman
Men's Soccer vs. Charlotte
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Georgia
Free Friday Evening Swing Dance
Fri
8
Kentucky Football vs. Georgia
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
The Power of Poetry
The Lexington Lowdown and Free Lindy Hop Workshop
Swing Dance Featuring Live music by"The Metrognomes Orchestra"
Sat
9
UK Combos Concert
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Missouri
Sun
10
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Mon
11
UK Sax Ensembles
Job Club - Interviewing Strategies
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Jose Abisambra Presentation on Current Alzheimer's Research
Women of the World: Judy Smith
Tue
12
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Reservoir Dogs
Refugee Life in America
#UKEDTALKS: International Opportunities for Education Majors
Leadership Assessment
Wed
13
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Iron Man 3
Chili and Pie Cook-Off Supper
#TrendingTopics: Vegetarians vs. Meat-Eaters
Campus Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics KY
LNFS Presents: La Demora
Thu
14
LNFS Presents: Pretty in Pink
LNFS Presents: Mean Girls
Fri
15
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
16
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Florida
Greek Cinematography: Critical Approach and Discussion
"Storied Streets" Documentary Showing about Experiences of Homelessness
Sun
17
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
UK Rep Bands Concert
College of Agriculture, Food & Environment 2014 Celebration of Land-Grant Research
Amanda Rogers, "Black Flags, ISIS 'Swag' & Jihadi Rap: Marketing Militancy after the Arab Spring"
Stories of Homelessness: Panel Discussion
Mon
18
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
A Positive Approach to Caregiving Conference
Education Abroad Open House
CatWatch Party
Appalachian Forum and Film Screening of "Up the Ridge"
Tue
19
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
LNFS Presents: The Princess and the Frog
Pinterest Party
International Games Day
Global Design with Phil Duncan
Caregiver Support Group
OXFAM Social Issues Banquet
Wed
20
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You
LNFS Presents: The Big Lebowski
International Education Week Keynote Speaker: Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID
Tobacco-free Tailgate 5 Year Anniversary
Bollywood Night
Thu
21
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: Water For Elephants
4th Annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging & Dementia
Freedom from Fear: On Black Childhood and Other Dangers
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
MEAT.
Fri
22
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
23
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
UK Symphony Band and UK Concert Band
Sun
24
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Mon
25
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Job Club - What is your money habitude?
Multicultural Student Thanksgiving Dinner
Tue
26
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Wed
27
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Thu
28
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Fri
29
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Arkansas
Sat
30
 
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wed, 11/26/2014 - Sat, 11/29/2014

Wed, 11/26/2014

Reset Page