Dance-a-thon to benefit needy children

Melanie Quintanilla, Reporter

The Mercy Leadership Committee is holding a dance-a-thon to raise money for the Mercy services tutoring program for underprivileged children.

“The money that we raise will go to Mercy services in hopes that it will help those in the community who truly need it,” said Thomas Scott, sophomore mercy leader, chemistry and secondary education major.  The funds will buy needed supplies.

Lauren Hayden, sophomore mercy leader and English major, envisioned the dance-a-thon because she felt that it would be a fun way to raise money.

“In the application process to become a Mercy leader, we had to come up with a service project. So I came up with this idea of hosting a dance,” said Hayden.

Melanie Watson, sophomore Mercy leader and occupational therapy major, said the dance is meant to be a fun thing to do on a Friday while raising money. Leaders said this dance is a better alternative to walking around and simply asking for donations.

“We wanted to choose an event that students would want to attend and really enjoy. We figured that a dance would be a positive way to bring the students on campus together for a good cause,” said Watson.

The event will include raffles, games and contests in addition to music and dancing.  Other activities include a hula hoop contest,  a bean bag toss game and a limbo contest.  Kan jam, a game consisting of two flying discs and two scoring containers that serve as goals, and a basketball hoop contest are also planned

“We thought that raffle tickets throughout the night would be another good way to raise money, and the contests and events at each of the hours are just for fun, and it gives the students something to look forward to, and it will make it a different kind of dance,” said Watson.

The committee is reaching out to local businesses to donate prizes.

“We are trying to get local businesses to donate gifts cards, like Pizza Bella, R/C Wilkes Barre Movies 14, and the bookstore, so that can be the prizes to the winners,” said Hayden.

The Mercy leaders have not set a goal for the amount of money they would like to raise, but they hope many people will support the cause.

“I think we will get a good amount of people out to the dance, and any amount of money would be great. All money raised is going straight to Mercy services, so any money we get will have some sort of positive impact in the future,” said Scott.

The theme of the dance is neon, and everyone is encouraged to wear neon colored clothing.

“We are trying to get black lights as well, but it is not a definite quite yet,” said Hayden.

The group has teamed up with Cougar Radio staff to deejay the dance.

“We chose to have Cougar Radio to be the deejay of the event because we are trying to involve as many groups on campus as we can. The more people who are involved, the more it will travel through the grapevine and then the more people will come,” said Hayden.

Mercy leaders hope the event will help to spread the word about social services and programs in the area.

“This is a service-based school, and a couple of days a week volunteering to help tutor underprivileged children is a great way to serve the local community. I also hope that students come out and enjoy themselves for an hour or so and to participate in the activities being held. We, being students, can all relate to our classmates and the process of figuring out activities we would actually want on campus. It is hard to establish new activities, but it is so much fun to see them work out, just as we hope this dance will, ” said Watson.

The event will take place  Friday, Nov. 21 in the cafeteria at Banks Student Life Center from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.  A $1 donation is requested upon entry.

Mercy services provide housing, educational services, transportation, health care services, and religious services to those who are in need of them.

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