For My Sister and For the Kids
September 17, 2015
Topics: Dance Marathons
As IUDM celebrates this 25th anniversary milestone, I remain as dedicated as ever to its mission. My personal passion for IUDM is fueled by two sources of inspiration: the children of Riley Hospital, and the legacy of my sister, Ashley Crouse.
Ashley was deeply involved in IUDM, and served as Vice President of Communications on the IUDM Executive Council. In 2005, Ashley passed away after a tragic hit-and-run accident on the Indiana University campus. I was driven to carry on her mission of raising funds “For the Kids” at Riley Hospital. I was among a group of students who founded Carmel High School Dance Marathon in 2006. After high school I attended IU, where I eventually became president of IUDM. Although I graduated several years ago, I remain relentless in my efforts to ensure that the bloodlines of IUDM continue to grow.
Thanks to encouragement from the current IUDM Executive Committee, I am expanding a fundraising effort called ImForAsh that I began last year. I will participate in this year’s IRONMAN Louisville on October 11, 2015, just two weeks before IUDM. This race includes a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run for a total of 140.6 miles. This year, ImForAsh offers anyone a chance to donate, or to raise money through their own events under our team umbrella. For example, some of the ImForAsh teammates are participating in their own races, or fundraising through golf outings and lemonade stands. Last year, we raised more than $52,000. This year, it is our goal is to raise $250,000 for Riley in honor of the 25th anniversary of IUDM and the tenth year since Ashley’s passing. For my family, there could not be a more meaningful way to honor Ashley’s legacy.
It is incredible to see people from all over Indiana and across the country uniting behind a cause that is so much bigger than any of us. IUDM teaches all of us that our collective efforts can do incredible things for sick and injured children as well as for our own personal growth. No challenge is too great when you are motivated by helping others.
Reaching our financial goal would be amazing, but that’s not what matters most to me. If we can inspire people to join the IUDM legacy of giving back—for Ryan White, for Ashley Crouse, and For the Kids—then we have been successful.
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