Blair students are always encouraged to pursue volunteer opportunities they are passionate about. The School’s second-annual dance marathon, held on December 7, was an example of just that. Organized by Gabi Bernstein ’21 and Hallie Guyton ’20, the marathon raised over $8,000 to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through the Miracle Network Dance Marathon program. Held in the Chiang-Elghanayan Center for Innovation and Collaboration, the event brought together the Blair community for a night of dancing, fun and service.
The marathon tradition began in 2018 under the leadership of Hallie and Bryson Garriques ’19, whose younger sister was treated at Children’s Specialized Hospital, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, for cerebral palsy. The goal of the marathon is not to sit down, but rather stand up, move and give back. The night included a range of activities, including writing cards to children, singing karaoke, building gingerbread houses and playing games. The dance marathons, held nationally, help students gain valuable leadership experience through the event planning process. To date, such marathons have raised over $250 million.
“I was involved with planning a dance marathon before I came to Blair, and I knew I wanted to continue the tradition here,” Hallie said. “This is a national program that includes universities, so it’s an honor to be a part of that history.”
“My favorite part of planning the marathon was meeting different Blair students as we decided what the night would look like,” Gabi said. “I was really looking forward to seeing how our hard work paid off, and I’m very proud of what we accomplished!”
The event was organized under the guidance of history teacher Joanne Brandwood and English teacher Kaye Evans, who also coordinate Blair’s Day of Service and bi-annual Relay for Life program. Although they were hands-off during the planning process, they noted how amazing it was to see the students so passionate about a cause.
“We didn’t have too much to do with the planning; Hallie and Gabi were responsible for that,” Mrs. Evans noted. “This event is such a great way for students to have fun giving back, while also learning about the importance of the cause they are supporting. It was a remarkable night, and we can’t wait to host it again next year!”