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Funds being collected for March 23 dance marathon to aid Children’s Miracle Network

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The New Visions Class of 2013 has been busy requesting donations from community members and businesses for the Dancing for Kids Sake Dance Marathon to benefit sick and injured children in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

An annual fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York at Samaritan Medical Center, the 12-hour dance marathon typically raises more than $10,000. CMN Executive Director Jocelyn D. Mejias said the students’ goal this year is $15,000.

“I am thoroughly inspired by these students, who are mostly ages 13 to 19,” she said. “They all go out and do what I do every day — solicit donations for sick and injured children. These New Vision students are doing a great job. It’s their event.”

New Visions students will be at Salmon Run Mall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday raising money, and from 5 to 8 p.m. today, 10 percent of all purchases at the State Street McDonald’s will go toward the event.

While each participant is encouraged to raise at least $30 by March 1 to receive a free T-shirt made by New York Shirt Co., participants may raise funds beyond then and bring additional money to the event. Thus far, New Visions students have collected $1,000 from Community Bank, $500 from Kohl’s and $500 from the Spartan Association, among other contributions.

To put students’ efforts into perspective, Mrs. Mejias said, if students met their $15,000 goal, they would help cover the cost of one family’s allotted help from the organization. Families may receive up to $15,000 from CMN in their lifetime.

Just one isolette, an incubator into which newborn babies are put to help keep them warm, costs at least $20,000, Mrs. Mejias said. Aside from helping families directly, CMN donates funds to north country hospitals to buy equipment for pediatric services.

All money collected at the dance marathon will go a long way, Mrs. Mejias said, because “CMN counts on these types of events to raise the $300,000-plus we raise every year.”

The dance marathon is more than just business. Participants will have fun and entertainment throughout the marathon, which will be held from noon to midnight March 23. The overall theme is “Go Big or Go Home,” so there will be a giant Twister game, volleyball net and large inflatable beach ball, and other oversized activities.

Each hour of the marathon will feature smaller themes such as Hawaiian dancing; Irish dancing, where Coleman’s will provide snacks during that hour; Zumba; and throwback hits from the ’70s and ’80s. The last two hours of the event will be a glow party with red and yellow colors, which are the colors of CMN’s logo.

Prizes will be awarded for the top three fundraisers, including a 4G Xbox 360, sponsored by Infinite Lives. Mrs. Mejias said other prizes have yet to be determined.

For more information or to preregister, search for Children’s Miracle Network on Samaritan’s website, www.samaritanhealth.com.

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