For The Kids: DM builds a bridge between Boilermakers and Hoosiers
As we celebrate the staggering success of IU Dance Marathon's more than $3.2 million fundraising total last weekend, and look forward to Purdue Dance Marathon this weekend, we have a special Riley Blog entry from two guest authors with Riley Children's Foundation.
IUDM coordinator Samantha Lame and PUDM coordinator Katie Glesing share their thoughts on working together to support their former rival schools.
"I’m an extremely proud Boilermaker for many reasons. One of my favorites is the tradition we have with “Boilermaking Dreams Come True” through Purdue University Dance Marathon. I cherish every second I participated in PUDM during college, and being the president was one of the greatest honors I have had.
As fiercely passionate as I am about my Purdue Alumnae status and PUDM, I’m even more passionate about being For The Kids. So when I found out that I would be working with Indiana University’s Dance Marathon, it didn’t faze me. I knew that regardless of the school, I would have at least one thing in common with the students I would advise: we were all FTK.
In my professional role as a Dance Marathon Coordinator for Riley Children’s Foundation, I work with IUDM to help connect them to Riley Hospital and meet their goals.
Do they tease me about being from Purdue? Yes.
Do I cringe when I see them in their candy stripe overalls? Yes. But I love it that way.
We may have different opinions on which Indiana college is the best, but that doesn’t hinder our ability to work together to raise funds for Riley. In fact, the IU/PU rivalry helped raise almost $350,000 in just one week during the annual IUDM/PUDM Old Riley Bucket Challenge in October.
It has also be a great gift to watch my 100% Hoosier colleague, Katie Glesing, now working to support and grow PUDM. Katie is able to bring a new perspective to the group and I have no doubt she cares about her students (even when they cheer against beloved alma mater). Flip-flopping schools has been a positive experience for us. We put trust in each other to have our former marathons as a number one priority.
I consider myself very lucky. Last weekend I was a proud IUDM advisor, and this weekend I get to be an equally proud PUDM alumnae.
At the end of each day, I’m a proud member of the Dance Marathon family."
"While I have been a proud Hoosier all my life, dressing in cream and crimson, avoiding black and gold, chanting “Hoo-Hoo-Hoo” and never “Boiler Up,” the truth is I wouldn’t be here today without both Indiana University and Purdue University.
My maternal grandparents met on Purdue’s campus back in the early 1950s. (As some say, the rest is history.) My grandma still talks about her great love, and always pays credit to the place that brought them together.
Flash forward to 1987. I was born while my dad was getting his law degree from Indiana University and the Hoosiers raised another banner in Assembly Hall. In 2006 I chose to attend IU. Two years later my brother chose Purdue. Needless to say, I would always live in a house divided.
Without IU and my time with IU Dance Marathon, I would not be working for Riley Children’s Foundation and I wouldn’t have found my passion for Riley and the kids. When I was offered the opportunity to continue my time as a Dance Marathon Coordinator with Purdue University Dance Marathon, I didn’t hesitate. After being a part of the largest CMN Dance Marathon for so long, I could not wait to be a part of the fastest growing CMN Dance Marathon.
When my colleague and Boilermaker, Samantha Lame, came to Riley Children’s Foundation to oversee IUDM, we immediately saw this opportunity for collaboration. We are constant resources for each other, and I don’t think I could do the most for the kids without Sam there as my resident PUDM alumna. For us, driving to IU or Purdue no longer means “enemy territory.” It means we are on our way to see the greatest student leaders on campus.
Working with PUDM has reminded me that Dance Marathon is a family; a house never divided."
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