- Posted March 8, 2014 by
South Glens Falls, New York
South High Marathon Dance 2014
This event is special to me for several reasons, first I was a member of the class that started this event in 1978, second, both of my children have participated when they were in high school and third but not least, in 2002 my 39 year old sister who had stage 4 colon cancer was a recipient and in 2003 the dance was dedicated to her, she passed away 5 months after the 2002 dance.
This is also a report about what a community can do when they all work together.
The South High Marathon Dance is a charitable event held every March in the small town of South Glens Falls, New York. Students at South Glens Falls High School, grades 9-12, gather to raise money and dance for an amazing 28 hours straight, all in the name of local people and charities who need help.
The dance began in 1978, with about 50 dancers raising $1500 to donate to the local Emergency Squad, and has grown to include more than 650 dancers and in 2012 raised more than $395,000 . In the 35 years the dance has been held, the students, and community, have raised over $3 Million Dollars. Go to http://shmd.org/ to see this dance live and donate.
The dance has donated money to individuals who need handicapped-accessible vans, organ transplants, and motorized wheelchairs. We have helped send terminally ill community members on vacations with their families, helped pay medical expenses, bought gifts for needy children at Christmas and helped purchase major medical equipment for a local hospital. Along with these individuals in need of our help, we have also donated money to organizations like Caritas, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, numerous scholarship funds, and local groups like the community center and fire departments.
The dance is organized primarily by the students of South Glens Falls High School. A committee is formed every year to decide who the recipients will be that year. The student committee also helps decide what costume parties will take place at the dance...a time-honored tradition in which the dancers form groups and must prepare costumes that match a certain theme.
As the dance has grown, the community has become increasingly involved, often leaving not a single seat unoccupied in the bleachers. The community that comes out to support the dance is highly entertained not only by the dancers, but also by the multitude of opportunities to make donations at the dance. The school is opened up to vendors selling snacks, raffle tickets, 50/50 tickets, SHMD apparel. A hair cutting booth is set up and our live and silent auctions are huge attractions.
The culmination of the dance occurs Saturday night, after our 28 hours is up. The Grand Finale includes awards given to students who raise the most money, the awarding of raffle prizes, the live auction, and the greatly anticipated announcement of the total amount raised, followed by a Strut Your Stuff performance by the dancers. The energy, surprisingly, is electric, even after 28 hours of dancing.