Dancing for the kids

Miracle child Kelsey Arquette looks forward to Dance Marathon every year. Though any kid would love playing games and hanging out with energetic college students, Dance Marathon gives Kelsey something that most kids take for granted – acceptance.

When Kelsey, a five-year cancer survivor, lost her hair after undergoing chemotherapy, acceptance was hard to come by.

But yesterday’s mini-marathon gave 53 Bowling Green High School students the opportunity to do what hundreds of BGSU students do every year – show the kids that they love them exactly the way they are.

“Being around the college kids lets them know it’s okay to be different,” said Heather Arquette, Kelsey’s mom.

Amanda Weldon, former miracle child, is raising money along with her classmates for other miracle children, and hopes to bring the same acceptance that she and Kelsey have found through Dance Marathon.

“You’re not being judged,” she said. “You can just be yourself.”

Not only does the mini-marathon benefit the kids, but it also gives the volunteers a new outlook on their own lives.

Monica Flores, senior at BGHS, has been involved in the mini-marathon for three years, and is always amazed by the attitudes of the miracle children.

“It’s really humbling because I, and everybody else, complain about things I have no room to complain about,” she said. “Then you see the little kids and they’re just really happy.”

Many of the students, like Flores, were returning dancers. But this year, around half of the dancers were convinced to participate by BGHS teacher, Mike Shertzer.

Casey Rummel was one of the students in Shertzer’s agriculture class.

“Just talking about it everyday made us want to join,” she said.

Sam Kuntz, director of Dance Marathon, is amazed by how much the mini-marathon has grown, after only having five or six dancers the first year.

“The mini-marathon has grown in leaps and bounds over the last three years,” he said.

The growth is an encouragement to those involved in Dance Marathon.

“The spirit of their involvement is a great thing for this organization,” Kuntz said.

Bridget Ridal, community outreach chair, hopes the mini-marathon will create awareness of Dance Marathon within the community and expose the high school students to this great cause.

“It opens them up to the nature of community service,” she said.

Anna Gorman, BGHS junior, was tired after the mini-marathon, but enjoyed every minute.

“It’s tiring because we’ve been here for six hours, but it’s fun.” she said. “We got to see all the families, it was a good experience.”