QTHON exceeds goal, raises more than $265k

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By Mary Rose Bevins

About 1,500 Quinnipiac University students waited Saturday night for 21 cards to be flipped over to reveal how much money they had raised for the Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

A “Let’s go, QTHON!” chant starts as organizers turned over each card.

When the cards had been flipped, the numbers revealed $265,431.79.

The crowd erupted into cheers, chants and tears as QTHON surpassed its fundraising goal by more than $15,000, establishing a new high in the eighth year of the event at Quinnipiac.

“There’s something so special about holding one of those cards. It was a rush of emotions,” QTHON recruitment director Alex Ford said.

The QTHON management committee and student organization committees worked through the school year to put on the 10-hour dance event that took place in the Quinnipiac University Recreation Center Saturday.

Athletics teams, greek organizations and clubs like Alpha Delta Pi, Quinnipiac Student Nurses and IceCats created teams to dance for the entirety of the event and also hosted a “miracle child,” or, a specific child who benefited from the money raised.

“I do (this) for my future patients and to make sure another kid doesn’t see the inside of a hospital room,” Ford said.

Alex Clarke, a senior public relations major, said, “This is a way to give kids a voice and raise money for a good cause.”

 Miracle child Emma singing Taylor Swift's: "Look What You Made Me Do"

Miracle child Emma singing Taylor Swift's: "Look What You Made Me Do"

Each participant was responsible for achieving a personal fundraising goal.

Some got creative with ways of receiving donations, like fundraising committee member Megan McCarthy, who took her personal fundraising to another level by using Venmo.

“I Venmo-requested friends, family and my ex to donate to QTHON throughout the week and night,” McCarthy said.

“I am so proud of all of the people who worked so hard to make this goal achievable. It makes me so incredibly happy that we were raise that much for the kids,” she added.

Various activities took place through the 10 hours to keep the energy up.

Decked out from head to toe and wearing neon pink shirts were members of the morale committee.

Every hour on the hour they performed a 10-minute routine -- rehearsed months prior.

“I knew I wanted to be a role model and have more of an impact on this event, so I applied for (the morale committee) and never looked back,” Melissa Podias said.

Throughout the day, organizers went on stage and asked participants to take out their phones and ask family and friends to donate through apps. That effort raised about $7,000 in one hour.

Fundraising co-chair Katie Stokarski said, “I was very nervous about us reaching our goal. A quarter of million dollars is a huge goal for a school our size, but the push we had at night of made us reach our goal.”

Other activities during the long day included a game of knockout and a game of HQ Trivia QTHON version. There were also different theme hours that included Disney, holiday and throwback Thursday themes in which participants dressed up.

 Morale dancer Erin Schirra dressed as Moana for Disney Hour

Morale dancer Erin Schirra dressed as Moana for Disney Hour

“Throwback hour was definitely my favorite because it reminded me of my childhood,” QTHON participant Jess Ciccarella said.