Year: 1996
Amount Raised: $50,100.88

Dance Marathon 2 was still full of uncertainty. Would people participate? How much was too much to ask people to raise? How would we get more faculty and University support? How would we get area businesses to participate? Could we convince more families that they wanted to be a part of this crazy thing?

Year 2, we still didn’t know a lot of things- we didn’t know that it would look good on our resumes - we didn’t know how badly our hearts would break for families- we didn’t know that our lives would be forever impacted by people who would become lifelong friends and even some strangers. We didn’t know that in trying to do the right thing for others- we would become better people.

The gifts of those early years that sometimes seemed small were, in retrospect, the greatest. We had a SMALL team. We had a SMALL group of families and we knew them all by name. We had a SMALL and mighty group of dancers and volunteers who would become passionate spokespeople and cheerleaders. We had a SMALL plan that became a HUGE deal. A SMALL and sturdy foundation was created in a strong and heartfelt way.

The families came, the dancers came, the money came, and the pattern of growth was established. I’ve often heard the leadership of the first few years referred to as “crazy”, and I believe that we were. Crazy enough to take a chance on something for the greater good.