Fayetteville-Manlius High School’s Student Council annual Dance Marathon fundraiser is underway even though there won’t be a dance in March as there has been in past years.
“Our job this year is really more about community building than it is about fundraising,” said F-M High School Counselor Kelly Campolieta, the group’s adviser. “We have to be really mindful of the struggle people are going through this year.”
For more than 30 years, F-M students have been organizing the months-long fundraising campaign, which culminated in a 12-hour Dance Marathon event. The majority of those campaigns have benefited Camp Good Days and Special Times, a not-for-profit organization that provides a summer camp experience to children whose lives have been affected by a cancer diagnosis and sickle cell anemia. It costs about $800 to send a child to the camp, and the F-M High School Student Council has a goal to raise $100,000 each year for the camp.
This year, the dance won’t happen in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and students won’t be doing their traditional fundraising events, such as going door-to-door in neighborhoods or asking businesses for donations. Instead, the 14 students serving as this year’s Dance Marathon MCs (masters of ceremonies) have been brainstorming other ways to get students and the community involved, Campolieta said.
For example, the group recently held a Cookies for a Cause event in which they invited anyone to enter a baked goods decorating contest. Participants emailed photos of their creations, and Camp Good Days campers selected the winners, who received gift certificates to Sweet Frog in Fayetteville.
Participants were invited to donate to the Dance Marathon GoFundMe web page, but donations were not required.
The F-M students have hosted other events for Camp Good Days campers, such as a Halloween drive-by event in a Destiny USA parking lot and a NetFlix watch party.
“I’m excited to see what we can do,” Campolieta said. “We just have to get creative, and the students are really excited about the possibilities.”
For more information about Camp Good Days and this year’s Dance Marathon fundraiser, including a link to its GoFundMe web page, check out the Dance Marathon website.