Ziggython raised $275,484 for Miracle Children

Abby Welsh and Abby Welsh

Going door to door asking for money for a fundraiser may not be an ideal way to spend free time, but for Dance Marathon members, it’s what they thrive and depend on.

The main purpose of Dance Marathon, or “Ziggython,” is always “for the kids,” but most importantly it is the time and efforts spent raising money for this annual event.

“It’s unfortunate because we rushed planning this year so I’m not sure we will be able to reach our original goal,” said Jon Day, Dance Marathon director.

Dance Marathon’s goal was $500,000 when they began planning with a revised goal of around $300,000, similar to last years. They raised $314,000 last year, said Holly Hemminger, assistant director of internal affairs for Dance Marathon.

This year, they raised $275,484.33 for Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo.

“It’s definitely possible to reach $500,000, but we didn’t take a lot of things into consideration when planning this year,” Day said.

Dance Marathon announced their fundraising goal in November, when they typically share it with the University in September.

Two main ways members can raise money is knocking on doors, asking for donations from friends and family members and fundraising online. Other separate fundraising events occur up until the final event of Ziggython.

For example, Day said members can knit sweaters or scarves and sell them to friends or family members and that money will go to Dance Marathon.

“They have the option to do whatever they want individually and will be collected in the pool of money,” Day said.

Members compiled $600 going door to door before spring break, Day said.

“We also have other fundraisers such as the morale captain auction,” he said.

There are 18 captains with nine colors. For the auction each of the morale captains auctioned themselves off to raise money.

Thomas Hamway, one of the two purple morale captains, are called “Purps make Pancakes.” He said the auction a fun way to spread the word.

“We would spend the day with whoever bought us and then at the end of the night, we made them as many pancakes as they wanted,” Hamway said. “Each color did something different making it a unique experience for everyone.”

That event raised around $1,300 total, surpassing their goal of $1,100, Hamway said.

“Knowing the fact that all of this money, no matter where it’s coming from or how it was raised, it going to a good cause is a great feeling,” Hamway said.

In order for these fundraisers to happen, Hemminger said a core committee of people spread the word through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They sent out links for people to donate money, advertise for events and share drawings people can participate in during the final event of Ziggython.

“We want as many people to feel involved as possible,” Hemminger said.

There were more than 300 students who had signed up this year to participate when in past years they had about 100.

“Raising money isn’t the main goal, but with the amount of people we have, it should be a good turn out,” Hemminger said. “Last year we got a few awards.”

When they won awards last year, they got a nice chunk of money to put with the other money, but were unable to apply for them again this year because the organization wants to give other schools a chance to win awards, Hemminger said.

One of the most difficult things about fundraising for the event Hemminger said was not coming off as too pushy for the money.

“We all just want people to understand how passionate we are and the importance this money is for the kids,” she said.

Regardless of the long hours spent preparing raising money, Hemminger’s passion and dedication outshines the negatives.

“I love the people. I love watching people get excited and see their passion for this event grow,” she said.