The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday March 27th

Dance Marathon cooks up support

With chili dinners and bar nights, funding for UNC's Dance Marathon is starting to pick up.

Kappa Delta sorority and Beta Theta Pi fraternity held their second annual chili dinner Tuesday to benefit the marathon.

Volunteers spend all year raising money for the N.C. Children's Hospital, then present all donations to recipients during the last hour of the 24-hour event in February.

Since its inception, the marathon has raised more than $1 million.

Junior Kathryn Shaia, Kappa Delta's philanthropy co-chairwoman, said sorority members hoped to raise at least a couple thousand dollars with the $5-per-plate dinners.

"It's a good partnership between Beta (Theta Pi) and KD," said senior Rob Sellers, campus fundraising chairman for the 2007 UNC Dance Marathon, and philanthropy chairman of Beta Theta Pi.

These events provide a substantial portion of donations, although most comes from the money the dancers raise, said senior Erica Newman, overall coordinator for the marathon.

"Without these events, Dance Marathon would not be as successful as it is each year," said senior Beth Cordell, operations chairwoman for the marathon.

Although the marathon is months away, this is not the first fundraiser of the semester.

"We have different money coming in at all times," Newman said.

Last week, Pantana Bob's hosted a bar night, featuring the Craig Woolard Band.

Dance Marathon volunteers plan a spaghetti dinner and a pancake dinner during the spring semester. Members also sell wristbands at football and basketball games.

The week after fall break is "One Card push week" - during which members ask students to donate money through their UNC expense accounts.

Cordell said Dance Marathon volunteers are planning larger events for November, including a golf tournament, date auction and dodgeball tournament. In January there will be a benefit reception and auctions at the Carolina Inn.

"What's really unique is that the money doesn't go to a machine or general hospital expenses," Newman said. "It goes directly to the families and the things not covered by insurance."

Members said participation is increasing this year. Committees were chosen last week, and Newman said there were more committee applications than in previous years. "It helps that our message helps so many families in so many little ways."

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