Kids council hosts second annual dance marathon and other fund raising activities

On Saturday night, dancing, fund raising and social awareness combined at the Charter School of Wilmington’s second annual “Charterthon.”

That night, the school’s Jefferson Awards' Council hosted its second annual Force Fights for a Cure dance marathon at the school’s gymnasium.

Students danced the night away, raising money through sponsorships and other outreach methods, netting $26,486 for the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation.

That brings the school’s grand total over the past two years to nearly $39,000 for pediatric cancer research.

Council president Kaitlin Reid said that what was so impressive about this fund raising effort was that there was not a single large donation; it was accomplished dollar for dollar, student by student.  

Reid and Vice President Charlotte Abbott reached out to the school staff, student body and to local businesses in the community to increase the funds generated and the awareness reached.

They also initiated a local, regional, and national campaign to raise awareness about the dearth of funding for pediatric cancer research and to call students nationally to action, after learning that Congress has been allocating less and less money each year to fund childhood cancer research.

Reid said that less than 4 percent of taxpayer dollars set aside for cancer research are devoted to pediatric cancer: as a result, only two new drugs have been specifically approved for pediatric cancer in the past 20 years.

Reid contacted schools in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Florida and urged them to share a video by The Truth 365 organization that details the personal experiences of children suffering from cancer in an effort to help change the childhood cancer research arena.

Additionally, she asked the students at these schools to upload and share an informative flyer, to draw attention to the lack of funding for pediatric cancer research. They also signed a petition and wrote to their representatives in Washington, asking them to make pediatric cancer funding a national priority.

In a school-wide assembly, Reid said that although raising funds for organizations like B+ is an extremely crucial endeavor, the money raised should be supplementing the government’s budget, not augmenting its deficit.

“By seeking to engage local media, local government figures, the students in the school community and students regionally and nationally, and employing the power of social media, the council was able to raise a considerable amount of awareness for a cause that receives little recognition,” she said.