When Fayetteville-Manlius High School students announced their ambitious fundraising goal for this year’s Dance Marathon at a pep rally back in January, we were, at first, skeptical.
Their goal at the time: to surpass the record set last year, when students raised $127,000 through donations from the community. Specifically, they set out to raise $130,000 for Camp Good Days & Special Times.
To participate, students had to raise a minimum of $50. Considering that around 1,000 students get in on the 12-hour dance, if every student did just the required amount of fundraising, donations would tally around $50,000.
More than a few students went above and beyond the requirement, however, and this came as no surprise. The numbers are impressive nonetheless. With all donations tallied following Saturday’s Dance Marathon, students had surpassed their lofty goal to raise $133,000 for the camp on Keuka Lake dedicated to improving the quality of life for those who have been affected by cancer and other life challenges.
The entire community should be proud to have taken part in such an ambitious effort to raise money for a worthy cause. The students’ goal could not have been realized without the support of family and friends.
It also could not have been possible had those students not been encouraged to be charitable from an early age. Also this week, Mott Road Elementary students more than tripled their goal to collect 2,000 Box Tops for Education during the month of February. Their prize was getting to see their beloved principal, Lynnette Bonner, circle the halls on a tiny tricycle.
But the greater prize was the lesson they learned, one that will likely stay with them until they are old enough to do their own fundraising for the Dance Marathon: that giving back is important, and can be profoundly fun — and effective — if done with enough enthusiasm.