Fairfield University’s second annual Stagathon was held on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1:00. Students formed teams for $10 a person and were tasked with competing in various board games, participating in different activities and, most importantly, staying on their feet. All of the money raised goes to children in need.
“Stagathon is a year long fundraiser that raises money for our local CMN [Children’s Miracle Network] Children’s Hospital, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. During the event we had multiple fundraiser opportunities as well, whether it was the raffle table or hourly fundraiser pushes, encouraging participants to donate or reach out to friends/family to donate,” said Liza Rozenberg ‘21, recruitment chair for the event.
However, the event goes further than just financial support for children in need. “For our main event that was held this past Saturday, we invited families that were treated the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital to honor them and have them tell their story. This day was a day for the kids to just be kids. No hospitals or doctors just fun and celebration of all they’ve been through in their medical journey,” continued Rozenberg. The day was truly about the children.
The main theme of this year’s Stagathon was board games.
“At the event, there were a variety of fun activities, ranging from giant Jenga, to Twister, to bowling, to KanJam, corn hole and more! The Exec Team also organized several minute-to-win-it games that were super fun for the kids, and Just Dance was a huge crowd pleaser,” said Megan Roy ‘21 and current philanthropy chair of Play Like A Girl, who attended the event. However, Roy noted that the students’ interactions with the children was the highlight of the event, “My favorite part of the event was hearing the Miracle families stories, as they were a true reflection of why this event was happening on our campus.”
Although Stagathon was a great place for students to relax and have fun, it became a celebration of the brave children of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, and a way for students to connect with those inspiring children. The event gave the students and children a chance to learn and experience the activities together, illuminated by the final dance number to the song “Best Day of my Life” by the American Authors. The students and children learned bits of the dance routine throughout the day, and eventually danced the whole routine together.
Rozenberg further emphasized the emotional connection that was made between the students and the children when she described the “Circle of Hope” activity.
“We distribute hospital wristbands to all the participants and the families and then form two circles: one in the center (the exec team and the miracle families) and the participants circle on the outside,” said Rozenberg. “Then, we have our special guests, the kids, cut off everyones wristband one by one. It’s a very moving activity, watching the wristbands fall to the ground, honoring the families and everything they have been through.”
Overall, Stagathon raised $20,546.70 this year, a sizeable leap from last year’s $16,058.02. Although only the second installment of this annual event, Fairfield University’s Stagathon 2019 proved to be a success.