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Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

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Dance Marathon leaders share their strategies for achieving fundraising success
Vincent Hsiao
Members of Ladue Dance Marathon’s Morale team gather on the multipurpose room stage to present their dances during the main event Feb. 4, 2023. Morale taught participants a variety of dances each hour of the event. I enjoy being on Morale because we are dancing and having fun, but we are also raising money for the kids,” Will Minkler (10) said. “The best part of the event is listening to the kids stories and how we are helping them.”

The lights begin to dim in the multipurpose room. Everybody in attendance knows that the time has finally come. The Ladue Dance Marathon Executive Board steps onto the stage, each with a large poster board in hand that will soon reveal what everyone has been waiting to see for the past six hours. A drumroll pulses throughout the room, and one by one those on the stage flip the posters over their heads, revealing part of a number each time. After all of the posters have been flipped, the grand total that Ladue Dance Marathon has raised in just six months is unveiled: $72,279. The crowd erupts with cheers and excitement in reaction to the money that will aid Children’s Miracle Network. But this fundraising feat has left many wondering: How? How has a group of Ladue students been able to do this?

Throughout the 11 years that Dance Marathon has been at Ladue, members have established an organizational powerhouse, impacting the St. Louis community. There are many different tiers of the club that perform cohesively to achieve their goals.

“The lowest level you can be is a participant, so you sign up, and you fundraise $40 with your goal,” Morale chair Harper Buxner (11) said. “On the day of the event, you show up and you dance all day and you have fun with your friends. Morale is the hype group. You come to meetings once a week, you fundraise and then you learn and teach the dance. The executive board has people of different chairs, [and] they all have their own role. We have two directors on the executive board, and they make sure everything runs smoothly.”

The executive board operates with weekly meetings where they discuss and work toward their set yearly goals, and prepare for the event.

“Each week, the executive board meets with one of our teacher sponsors and our Children’s Miracle Network representative Teresa,” co-director Kate Margulis (12) said. “At these meetings, groups of two and three work together to complete the necessary tasks in order to reach success for our event in February.”

When it comes to choosing the board, there are lots of people to pick from. The choice comes down to the member’s passion for the club.

“The people that are on the executive board and morale really [care],” Buxner said. “I don’t think it’s a club you just join to put on your resume. Everybody’s there every week, and everybody’s meeting their goals and expectations.”

From an outside perspective, librarian Mary Kate Mortland agrees that the student dedication is what makes Dance Marathon different from other clubs.

“Dance Marathon is certainly one of those top-tier kinds of clubs,” Mortland said. “Anything is only as successful as the people that are involved.”

The relationship shared between board members makes it easy to maintain the enthusiasm.

“Our executive board is really close compared to the other clubs,” Margulis said. “We meet once a week, and I think that helps grow our relationships. A lot of people who were put [on] different chairs didn’t know each other super well before, so you’re learning so much about different people.”

With commitment from current members and interest from future ones, club members are looking towards expansion.  Social media growth is also promising

“In the future, hopefully our fundraising will continue to get bigger, and we will become one of the top 10 high schools nationwide,” Buxner said.

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About the Contributors
Josh Devine, Staff
Sophomore Josh Devine is a staffer on Panorama. This is his first year on staff. Josh enjoys skiing and traveling.
Grace Huewe, Staff
Junior Grace Huewe is a staffer on Panorama. It is her first year. Grace enjoys shopping and often wastes all her money on clothes and then complains that she has nothing to wear.
Vincent Hsiao, Photo Editor in Chief
Sophomore Vincent Hsiao is the photography editor in chief for Panorama. He was previously a staff photographer for Ladue Publications where he significantly contributed to photos in both the Panorama newsmagazine and Rambler yearbook. Outside of photography, Hsiao is on the Ladue swim team and has been a swimmer since he was six.

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