The lights flashed, the music played, and they danced. Wearing tutus, leis, pearls and polka-dot socks, Furman students enjoyed everything from swing dancing to Zumba lessons during Saturday’s dance marathon hosted by Heller Service Corps.
The second annual dance marathon raised more than $7,750 for the Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital, and donations are continuing to come in, said Nancy Cooper, Furman’s coordinator for volunteer services. The 12-hour event, held from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the Trone Student Center was organized and directed by biology major Jonathan Vandenberg ’17 of Glen Mills, Pa.
“It’s an important project for Furman and Heller because one, it is a great cause,” said Vandenberg. “Two, it helps the University and Heller connect with the Greenville community which is always great.”
A total of 125 students participated in the event, which included visits from several families who had benefited from the community’s generosity. One of the biggest celebrities at the event was 7-year-old Adri Patterson, the daughter of Furman alumnus Josh Patterson ’02.
“I would just like to thank you for sharing so many toys and crafts with me at the hospital, because without you, the hospital couldn’t afford to have so many fun things,” Adri told the crowd. “I love playing with the cool toys at the hospital every time I go for my check up!”
Adri first had surgery for a brain tumor in January 2010 and has a small tumor that has not changed or grown in nearly five years, Josh Patterson said.
“My wife, Natalie, and I were blown away by the support and care we received from the Children’s Hospital during our stay… After Adri was well and we started interacting with other families in the world of pediatric brain tumors, we learned that the special care we received and the fun things Adri had access to weren’t the norm at every hospital,” said Josh Patterson. “We are passionate about raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network because we understand firsthand how that money blesses families with sick children. It was a great privilege to be back at my alma mater with my healthy daughter and the rest of my family to share those experiences.”