By Jillian McIntosh
The sixth annual Guinathon raised over $72,000 on Saturday, Feb. 26 at Youngstown State University’s Beeghly Center.
The YSU dance marathon is a student-run organization that fundraises year-round to donate to treatment, technology and research at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Alex Kennedy, adviser for Guinathon and a student success specialist, said the movement has personally benefited her and her family.
“What Guinathon means to people like myself — who it directly impacts in the community — really just makes a difference in our lives. Our child was in the newborn intensive care unit,” Kennedy said. “Just the little things that this money provides to us made us feel so normal in a time that was so abnormal and scary for us.”
The eight-hour event consists of participants raising money by dancing and engaging in activities such as lip-sync battles and half-court shot competitions.
YSU President Jim Tressel gave a speech at the start of the event, stating that it is an honor for the university to participate in the national dance marathon.
“It has made an extraordinary difference for families, for kids, Akron Children’s Hospital and for one another as the university as a whole,” Tressel said.
He also presented a check for $5,000 from the Tressel family.
Mackenzie Nasci is a senior mechanical engineering major and the external director of Guinathon.
“Guinathon has been the biggest part of my college experience,” Nasci said. “In any capacity, I want people to get involved in Guinathon because we do so much good work for the kids that live literally around the corner.”
The external director oversees all pre-event fundraising and finance operations throughout the year. She also had primary responsibility for all fundraising activities.
Students can register to volunteer by visiting the Guinathon table at organization fairs on campus.
Integrated language arts education sophomore Emily Vero was a volunteer at the event. She said she decided to volunteer closer to when the event was taking place.
“It’s really just been a great time. I’ve been getting to know people I’ve never met before,” she said. “I’m included like I’m a participant, so it’s really awesome.”
Vero got involved by being on the emerging leaders team, a program for sophomores to develop leadership skills.
Applications for manager, director and committee positions are also available to complete online in the Spring.
The forms are found on the bottom of the “Get Involved” page on the Guinathon website.