LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2011) – DanceBlue 2011 is just around the corner, kicking off its sixth year this Friday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum. This year looks to be the largest event yet, and each person involved with DanceBlue has a special reason that they decided to dance for the kids. On this day where we typically express why we love one another, we’ve asked a few of DanceBlue’s leaders why they love DanceBlue.
I DanceBlue because I know the lasting impact this organization has on children with cancer and their families. Children and their families not only receive greater treatment and services at the Pediatric Oncology Clinic because of DanceBlue, but they are connected with other families going through the same experience as well as students and faculty in the UK community. - Mallory Evans
I DanceBlue for the kids because seeing the joy on the faces of the kids and their families when we finally reveal the amount we fundraised makes all those hours of standing worth it! - Kathryn Stegman
I DanceBlue for my grandparents, my mom's best friend, my best friend’s mother and everyone else who has been effected by cancer one way or another. I dance for the kids so that one day they can grow up and DanceBlue too. - Tina Mapes
I DanceBlue to lend my support to those who need it most – the kids. I know firsthand how hard a cancer diagnosis is; I overcame Burkitt's Lymphoma in 2009 at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Spending so much time at the hospital and working with DanceBlue, I can honestly say that I have never seen more inspirational kids than the ones that are battling cancer. These kids and their families have a special place in my heart and being able to work with DanceBlue to give back to them is such a wonderful feeling. To me, DanceBlue is a way to tell these kids and families that no matter what life hands them there will always be a group of people that will always be there to support them. - Heather Pickett
Before I was born, I had a baby sister, Emily, who passed away from a brain tumor. The impact of such a tragedy nearly tore my family apart. When I was born I brought hope to a wounded household. So each and every day I strive to bring hope to others' lives so that no parents will have to bury their children. Even though I never had a chance to meet my sister, each and every day I try to live a life worthy of Emily and one that will leave a positive impact. To accomplish great things in life, one needs to find their passion. My passion on this campus is DanceBlue. There may be long hours of work with stumbles along the way, stress and frustration to make everything run smoothly, and of course the 24 hours of standing on your feet. But in the end it is all worth it for the happiness on a child's face, the tears of joy and appreciation from the parents and the satisfaction of seeing those cardboard signs revealing an amazing number. That number reminds us that for one more year we have done our part to fund the clinic. It means that we have taken one more giant stab at pediatric cancer. It shows us how much love and support this community is capable of. For those 24 hours we are not just students, faculty or volunteers at UK; we are a family united by a worthy cause. In the end, it’s all for the kids and why I DanceBlue! - Will Blackford
I DanceBlue because the biggest struggle I faced when I was a child was choosing between Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. These kids struggle every day in their fight against cancer. I want them to know we are here fighting that fight with them, supporting them, doing all we can to find a cure. We DanceBlue so they know we care. I want to show them there is hope, that cancer may destroy the human body but it cannot and will not destroy the human spirit. - Alex Brewer
I DanceBlue because cancer is a disease that doesn't discriminate against age, race or gender. Since I am blessed and fortunate enough to be healthy, I see it as my responsibility duty, and honor to stand and dance FOR THE KIDS. - Kelsey Giurgevich
I DanceBlue for the wonderful, loving and beautiful children who can't dance right now because they have been affected by cancer. It is so fun to see those smiles on the faces of these children during the marathon and it really encourages you to do anything. - Rachel Dickman
I DanceBlue to support the children who have been diagnosed with cancer. I dance to give them and their families hope for a cure and companionship during and after their treatment. - Maggie Grisanti
DanceBlue is UK’s 24 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the Pediatric Oncology Clinic at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Now in its sixth year, DanceBlue has raised more than $2 million for pediatric cancer research and children with cancer. 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 (CCO). 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. Connect with the CCO on Facebook here and on Twitter at twitter.com/ukcco.