Dance Marathon hosts its first-ever volleyball tournament


Brandi Boyett/Iowa State Daily

ISU Dance Marathon hosted a volleyball tournament fundraiser with proceeds going to Children’s Miracle Network on Nov. 17. The tournament was located at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center. There could be up to 10 players on each team.

Brian Day

The Lied Recreation Athletic Center was colored in teal Sunday morning, Nov. 17 as Dance Marathon hosted its first-ever “tealtastic” volleyball tournament.

Ten teams and more than 100 participants gathered at Lied to help raise money for ISU Dance Marathon, which raises money for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

About three months ago, co-directors of Community Development for Dance Marathon, Woody Heidler and Chloe Just, came up with the idea for a volleyball tournament as a fundraiser after an earlier event that they held wasn’t as successful as they had hoped.

“Originally we had an event called Teal Wheels, and it just wasn’t very successful, so Chloe and I decided we wanted to drop that and start something new,” Heidler said. “We knew that students like to play volleyball; it’s really easy, it’s indoors, we don’t have to worry about weather, so we just decided to do a volleyball tournament.”

Even though it is the first year the tournament has been put on, Just hopes that they can continue to do it in the years to come.

“Our hope is that this will continue as kind of a Dance Marathon tradition year after year,” Just said.

Anyone was able to participate in the tournament, not just students who have dedicated the time to raising money for the big Dance Marathon event in January. Even Ames community members were encouraged to come out and play and raise awareness for the cause.

“Part of it being a community development event, we’re trying to just get Dance Marathon out to a demographic that may not know about it, or be signed up already,” Heidler said. “So yes, originally we are going to raise money from doing the tournament, but we’re hoping to gain interest of more people who sign up for the big event in January.”

Although there won’t be another fundraiser of this caliber for Dance Marathon before the main event in January, they will be holding a few smaller family appreciation events and an alumni dinner during the time before Dance Marathon.

Jen Sharpe, sophomore in sociology and communications, took part in the first annual tournament in the hopes to raise awareness for Dance Marathon.

“I know a lot of girls on the team didn’t even know anything about Dance Marathon before, and it reaches out to a bigger group of people to get them more interested to do it,” Sharpe said.

Dance Marathon’s main event is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2014.

“It’s Iowa State’s largest student-run philanthropy, so it’s something you don’t want to miss out on,” Heidler said. “It’s something fun to do with your friends on a cold weekend in January and you won’t know what you’re missing until you try it.”

Just stressed the importance of Dance Marathon and all of the good that the organization does.

“Dance Marathon is an organization that allows you to be a part of something that’s so much bigger than yourself and something that’s actually real life that matters for real people outside of Iowa State,” Just said. “Every dime that we raise really does truly make a difference in a child’s life.”