SDCA Coordinator and double alumna Caitlin Kirschbaum ’10, ’13, was a junior at Pace when her brother suffered a massive aneurysm and was medevaced to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital (MFCH) at Westchester Medical Center.
“I had more support than I could have ever imagined from the Pace University Community while my family battled through such uncertain times. Two surgeries and three years later, my brother was back to normal again, and from that moment on, I wanted to hold a fundraiser for an amazing hospital that is only three miles away from the Pleasantville Campus,” she told the Daily Voice.
Kirschbaum’s brother is one of 20,000 children treated at the Maria Fareri’s Children Hospital, part of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, each year. Kirschbaum, who also interned in their PR and marketing department, is now working with Pace students to continue to pay it forward.
“Over the years I have participated in fundraising opportunities for the hospital and last spring finally came across an opportunity that could potentially bring together two phenomenal institutions, Pace University and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital,” she adds.
With the help of a dedicated and talented group of Pace students, who put their planning, marketing, and design skills to use, that opportunity will become a reality. The Pace 4 Kids NEON Dance Marathon will move into the PLV Campus on November 22, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. in the Willcox Gym. And yes, dancers will be on their feet for 12 hours, busting moves and participating in games and entertainment. Why? Solidarity. To quote the first Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Dance Marathon’s mission statement: We dance for those who can’t.
Dancers will participate in a group morale dance each hour, along with fan-favorites, like the cha-cha, electric slide, and even the dougie. That’s right, they’re going to teach you how to dougie, teach you teach you how to dougie. There will also be food and goodies from ShopRite and Dunkin Donuts, help from sponsors like Kohl’s and the Marriott, and patients and their families will be stopping by to cheer dancers on, including a Pace student and Maria Fareri patient, who will be one of the featured speakers.
So far, more than 100 participants have raised more than $4,000…for the kids.
“This isn’t just a hospital. They treat patients, but they also treat families. I’ve lived through it,” says Kirschbaum. “To see that students are getting that without having to experience it, it’s really amazing.”
But there’s still plenty of work to be done over the next few weeks with a goal of $20,000. And while the event is happening in PLV, NYC students, faculty, and staff are invited and encouraged to P4K. And the best part: 100% of your donations stay local in the Hudson Valley and help make a difference in the lives of children within the community at Maria Fareri. Plus, the more you raise, the more points you get to win prizes including gift cards, dinner with some of the children, and more.
“The ultimate goal is to have this still happening in 10 years,” she says. P4K4ever.
And don’t forget to get involved in some FUNdraisers leading up to the main event. PJ’s for P4K: Enjoy throwback Saturday morning cartoons and nostalgic snacks on Saturday, November 9, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Commuter Lounge. Donations will also be collected.