Students organize dance marathon to benefit Connecticut Children's Medical Center
March 12, 2014 - Finance students A.J. Billingsley and Ryan Laguna both admit to having two left feet, but that did not stop them from dancing the night away for a good cause on March 1 at Burt Kahn Court.
Billingsley and Laguna organized QTHON, a six-hour dance marathon that included 583 participants and raised $31,174 for Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford.
"Our goal was $30,000," said Laguna, a junior from Scotch Plains, N.J. "Breaking that was a big accomplishment for us.
"I'm an awful dancer," Laguna added. "I did my best."
QTHON was organized by Delta Tau Delta and was part of Dance Marathon, a nationwide movement involving college and high school students at more than 150 schools which raises money for the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in their community.
Billingsley and Laguna visited Connecticut Children's Medical Center prior to the dance and invited families who have benefited from the hospital to participate and speak at QTHON.
"The hospital really caters to the kids and makes them as comfortable as possible," said Laguna, who is also president of Delta Tau Delta. "Meeting and talking to the kids really opens your eyes. Our generation is big when it comes to philanthropy and it's something you can easily connect to. It really hits home when you are dealing with children."
QTHON 2014 was the third such event at Quinnipiac and the first since December 2012. The last one raised $20,000 and had 280 dancers.
"We've branched out to make it a community event," said Billingsley, a senior from Walpole, Mass. "We had teams from a number of organizations, from the nursing association to Greek life to the Latino Cultural Society. They hung out with and got to know the families. It will have a lasting impact on the younger students in the organizations."