Dance Marathon: Raising thousands for the kids


Maya Perera

2023 MC’s pose for a group photo. IG: @fmdmmcs

Students pose for a group shot at the Dance Marathon event.
Students pose for a group shot at the 2022 Dance Marathon event. (DM MC cameras)
Students perform during the karaoke portion of the event.
Students perform during the karaoke portion of the 2022 event. (DM MC cameras)

For over 30 years, FM High School students have been participating in the Dance Marathon fundraiser, which has the goal of raising $100,000. Every year, 14 brightly dressed teens function as the masters of ceremony to lead FM High School’s efforts in its largest annual fundraiser. 

This money is donated towards Camp Good Days and Special Times, a non-profit organization for children affected by cancer or sickle cell anemia that provides them with a summer camp experience. The FM Dance Marathon Fundraiser tries to allow as many kids to attend camp as possible. According to their official website, “Because Dance Marathon raises more than $100,000 each year, children can attend Camp Good Days completely free of charge.”  It costs approximately $800 for each kid to be sent to camp. 

The official start to fundraising is marked by an assembly held by the 14 MCs, or masters of ceremony, with this year’s event taking place on February 3rd. The MCs performed various dances in order to get the student body excited about the upcoming activities. 

To reach the ambitious goal of $100,000, the school must participate in many fundraising activities, also organized by the MCs.  School counselor Mrs. Campioleta, the advisor overseeing the fundraising, said “the MC’s have spent a lot of time going door to door,” but she also shared the many activities the MCs took part in “just this week.”

One of the efforts included the bottle and can drive. These could have been dropped off at any time at the Manlius Bottle Return Center or collected by the MCs who picked them up from houses. The MC’s also hosted a food truck on March 3rd in the District Office Parking Lot selling foods varying from chicken tenders to paninis to raise more money. 

There will also be a school-wide volleyball tournament on Thursday, March 9th from 6-8 pm with a $10 admission fee per person. Students can sign up now using the QR codes found around the school. The MC’s will also be participating in the improv club show on Friday, March 10th. 

The events that make the most money are the dances such as the semi-formal, as well as the selling of the emblematic sweatshirts specially designed for each year. The sweatshirts are sold for $25 a piece and are found in the foyer after school. According to Mrs. Campioleta, the most profitable event “varies from year to year, but those are consistent, those are the two that always make a lot of money.”

The final culminating event of the fundraising is the Dance Marathon itself. Taking place on Saturday, March 18th, the participants will gather in-person at the high school and are challenged to dance from 3pm to 9pm, for a total of 6 hours straight.  Previously, the marathon had stretched for 12 hours. But after the quarantining due to Covid-19, the event had disappeared completely and has only been brought back last year with the reduced time. 

If anyone would like to contribute to the DM efforts, the packets are available to be picked up in the Student Activities Office(SAO) in House 2.  For more information on DM or Camp Good Days and Special Times, more details are provided on the website.