The Fayetteville-Manlius High School Dance Marathon is taking place May 22, and it will include some dancing but with a bit of a twist.
Because of COVID-19, the student organizers of the annual Dance Marathon have decided to hold a phonathon from noon to 7 p.m. May 22 in lieu of their traditional 12-hour dance event that annually raises money for Camp Good Days & Special Times.
For more than 30 years, F-M students have organized a months-long fundraising campaign, which culminated in a 12-hour dance marathon event. The majority of those campaigns have benefited Camp Good Days & 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 annually set a goal to raise $100,000 each year for the camp.
This year, the dance didn’t happen in the spring as usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and traditional spring fundraising events, such as going door-to-door in neighborhoods or asking businesses for donations, have not taken place.
Instead, the 14 students serving as this year’s Dance Marathon MCs (masters of ceremonies) and 16 student council members have organized other ways to get students and the community involved, such as a baked goods decorating contest, Halloween drive-by event in a Destiny USA parking lot and a NetFlix watch party.
The phonathon will be a live-streamed event hosted by the MCs and featuring a mix of live and pre-recorded segments, such as dance and comedy routines, interviews with student athletes and club members and families and children who attended Camp Good Days. The event can be watched via the district’s YouTube channel.
Throughout the phonathon, individuals can call in and make a pledge or make a donation directly on the Dance Marathon website. The phone number and website will be advertised throughout the livestream, and pledges can be dropped off at F-M High School or students will collect donations locally. All proceeds will be donated to Camp Good Days.
“We’re really excited about it,” said F-M High School Counselor Kelly Campolieta, the group’s adviser. “It’s something different, and we’re asking people to be patient as we try out this new format.”
Several of the involved students are enrolled in the school’s broadcast journalism course and are comfortable behind and in front of a camera, Campolieta said.
For more information about Camp Good Days and this year’s Dance Marathon fundraiser, check out the Dance Marathon website.