Spectrum Health honors Dance Marathon team

five women standing
At center is Devin Pierson, from Spectrum Health, with Dance Marathon members, from left, Alex Dartt, Julia Ahrns, Hannah Nyeboer and Heather Ewing.
Image Credit: courtesy photo

“For the kids” is the rallying cry of students who participate in Dance Marathon, a student organization dedicated to raising funds in support of local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Every year, Dance Marathon members host “LakerThon,” and participants are on their feet for 12 hours to raise money and awareness for Helen Devos Children’s Hospital.

“At LakerThon, we host miracle families, who are kids and families who have been treated at Helen DeVos, and allow them to share their stories with our dancers,” said Hannah Nyeboer, president of the organization. “We also teach a line dance, learn where the money we raise goes, eat pizza and other treats, hang out with the kids, play games and celebrate all of our hard work.”

Their hard work has paid off, Nyeboer said. Last year, the students raised more than $30,000 for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and they hope to beat that number this year. 

To honor their work for the hospital, students were invited in September to attend Spectrum Health’s Celebration of Philanthropy Night.

“Being honored by Spectrum Health was an incredible reminder of the impact our program has on Helen DeVos and the giving community that surrounds us,” Nyeboer said.

She said the most rewarding part of being involved in Dance Marathon is knowing that they have made a difference in their community.

“The closing ceremony at LakerThon is an extremely emotional moment when we realize that all of our hard work has paid off and the impact we are making on Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital,” Nyeboer said. “There are usually a lot of happy and exhausted tears at the end of our 12-hour LakerThon, but the kids make it worth every second.”

Learn more and register for the 2019 LakerThon at events.dancemarathon.com/event/gvsu2019.

-- written by Madison Barnes, student writer