‘Tis The Season of Gratitude
By: Darcy Ratermann, DM 8 Co-Executive Director
This time of year has always been one of my favorites. Especially now that I get the opportunity to come home, relax after the stress of finals, and spend time with my family and friends. During this time of year, I also spend a lot of time reflecting on not only the past semester, but the year as a whole. This last year has brought so much into my life, however, when I look back at this year, one constant in it has been Dance Marathon. Earlier this year, DM 7 raised $270,654.07, a number that I am still in awe of every time that I hear it. Fast forward to October, during FTK Week when DM 8 raised $23,476.25 in one day, and we are just getting started.
Most of all, when reflecting back on this year, the word that comes to mind is gratitude. I am so incredibly grateful to be a part of this amazing nationwide movement that is Dance Marathon. DM quickly became a family for me the more that I got involved and there are so many different aspects of the organization that I will forever be grateful for.
I am grateful for SAU DM’s amazing group of alumni, who started this legacy at St. Ambrose and created a home for so many. It truly is so heartwarming to see all of the alumni come back year after year to the celebration of life that helped shape them into the people they are today. Thank you, SAU DM Alumni, for starting this movement and for your continued commitment and dedication for the kids, we are so grateful for you.
This holiday season, I am also grateful for every single dancer apart of this organization. One of my favorite parts of any Dance Marathon event, is getting to hear everyone’s “why” and see their faces light up when they talk about Dance Marathon. Thank you, dancers, for making SAU DM the home that it is to so many. I hope all of you are never just a dancer; in fact, you are so much more. You choose to dance for 13.1 hours and take a stand against pediatric illness. You choose to do more with purpose for our miracle families and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Anyone who has attended a Big Event, knows how miraculous it is to truly know that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. Thank you, for choosing to be a part of our Dance Marathon family and for continuing to make a difference For The Kids.
Most importantly, I am grateful for our 42 miracle families who share their stories and their lives with us. Getting to know all of you has enriched my life in so many different ways. When I look back on my time at Dance Marathon, the first memories that always come to mind are the moments that I have spent with our miracle families. Thank you, families, for sharing your lives with us and giving us a reason to dance. Thank you for inspiring us to do more with purpose by sharing your personal stories with us. Not only during this season, but year-round, we hope that you know that you are never in this fight alone and you will always have a family in Dance Marathon.
With less than 100 days left until DM 8’s Big Event, I am feeling overjoyed and grateful for the relationships that I have built through this organization. I know that we are all going to blink and it is going to be March 28, 2020 and we will dedicate 13.1 hours of dancing and celebration to our wonderful kiddos and our kiddos forever dancing in our hearts. While the Big Reveal is always one of the most anticipated moments of every single Big Event, I challenge all of you, dancers, to take in every single moment leading up to it and cherish your time being a part of Dance Marathon, it truly is something special.
Forever For The Kids,