In usual fashion, University of Iowa President Sally Mason paid a visit to the Big Event Saturday afternoon as dancers prepared for Power Hour.
Mason gave a short speech praising the dancers for all their hard work and encouraged them to just keep going.
“I want to tell each and everyone one of you that because of you, this is bigger and better every year,” Mason said in a speech to the dancers. “You provide the inspiration for this university to be great. Thank you.”
Mason acknowledged that raising $400 may not be the easiest thing, but it is doable and it is worth it.
“I know all of you know how hard it is sometimes to raise funds,” Mason said in her speech. “But if you have the passion and when you’re committed, you’ll find a way to raise it. Just remember, it’s for the kids.”
Mason has always been a strong supporter of Dance Marathon, and said it is her favorite fundraiser at the University of Iowa.
“There’s never going to be this kind of energy after 22 hours in anywhere else,” Mason said in an interview with The Daily Iowan. “I always like to come towards the end to try and give them a little motivation.”
Although Mason has not met every family involved in Dance Marathon, she tries to meet a few and said they always make an impact on her.
“It’s always very moving,” she said. “You can’t meet a family and not start to begin to understand what they’re going through.”
Mason believes it’s important to recognize not only the Dance Marathons but also the students involved.
“It’s not only about the kids that they’re helping, but this is also about the students that make it happen,” she said. “You may not have a lot of money, but with the energy, spirit and enthusiasm you can make it great.”
Mason said the energy and noise is her favorite part of Dance Marathon, and it “makes her skin tingle” because it shows all the enthusiasm of the dancers. She hopes the Big Event inspires families and dancers alike.
“First off, Dance Marathon means it’s February,” she said. “But also, Dance Marathon means not only so much to the dancers and the families, but it’s all about helping the children. They may not always be with us, but our students show our support for the kids.”