Students came together to learn new dances, mingle with friends and play games all while raising money and awareness for children in need in the Oak and Dogwood Rooms in the John A. Barone Campus Center.

This past Friday April 20, from 6-10 p.m., students were able to partake in Fairfield University’s first annual dance marathon- Stagathon, which was designed to raise money for children who need medical care in Fairfield County.

148 people registered for the event, each contributing a minimum of a $10 registration fee. In total, $16,058.02 was raised. The top non-executive fundraisers for the event were Dominique Gambino ‘20 with $320, Alaina Moger ‘21 with $377 and Elle Butner ‘21 with $420.

According to Lillian Cribbin ‘20, the president of Stagathon, “This [Stagathon] is a nationally-affiliated program; they have it at universities all across North America. Each dance marathon’s purpose is to raise money for their local children’s miracle network hospital.”

“We are impacting the community by helping our local families [and] all of the Fairfield children that go to Maria Fareri; every penny that goes to Maria Fareri is impacting those kids, so it’s whatever treatment they need, or whatever research that needs to be done for the disease they have or the medical supplies they need to buy to help them battle that disease… it’s helping our local families in that fight against whatever illness they are having,” Cribbin added.

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, located in Valhalla, N.Y., is the designated Children’s Miracle Network hospital for Fairfield County and the Hudson Valley region in New York.

Sophomore Aidan Danaher, when asked about why he took part in the event, noted, “A lot of my friends helped to organize the event and did such a great job publicizing it, it was for a good cause and it seemed like a cool way to have a good time while also doing good for the community and organizations that help people who desperately need it.”

Cribbin cited ‘Soonerthon,’ the University of Oklahoma’s dance marathon, as an example of how these dance marathons help children in need. The event at the University of Oklahoma helped to fund a new chemotherapy unit, the first mental health board in the state, as well as the first dialysis and eating disorder units at their designated children’s hospital. She further mentioned that the funds raised also go to helping research efforts to find cures for diseases and purchasing medical supplies.

The slogan of the Children’s Miracle Network, as Cribbin noted, is F.T.K., or For the Kids, because all of the money raised during these nationwide dance marathons is donated to kids in need of medical supplies and efficient treatment all across North America.

The inspiration for bringing ‘Stagathon’ to Fairfield was in large part due to Cribbin’s association with ‘Soonerthon’ at the University of Oklahoma prior to transferring to Fairfield this year.

Cribbin expressed that when she first came to Fairfield, “I could already see the philanthropic nature of the campus. I’m involved in a couple of different organizations and I did have such a good experience with ‘Soonerthon,’ I thought Fairfield needed one. UConn [University of Connecticut] has one, Penn [Pennsylvania State University] has one…”

At UConn, ‘Huskython’ is their university’s dance marathon, which raised approximately $1 million for their designated hospital; Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Cribbin felt that since these dance marathons are occurring at several colleges and universities throughout the northeast, it would be great for the families in Fairfield, whom she noted were mostly new ones with little children to take care of. Because of this, she said that it would really work and truly take-off in the Fairfield community.

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