Marathoning for a miracle
Hundreds of students gathered Saturday night to support GC Miracle’s annual Dance Marathon fundraiser to support the Children’s Hospital in Macon, an event that was efficiently pulled off due to the hard work of the executive board members behind the event.
The effort is well worth it for senior Janae Innis, a business management major and the director of entertainment for GC Miracle.
“My position is essentially about this one Saturday,” Innis said.
Innis was responsible for everything happening on the main stage as well as the side courts of the Centennial Center during the 12-hour stretch of Dance Marathon. From Zumba to live bands to a hypnotist, Innis’ fingerprints were all over the event.
“I think a lot of people just think that we plug in an aux cord and dance for 12 hours, but that’s not what happens at all,” Innis said. “There’s tons of stuff going on, and it’s all planned out way in advance.”
While Dance Marathon is probably GC Miracle’s most recognized event, Innis was quick to point out that the organization does other events throughout the year to raise money for the Children’s Hospital in Macon.
“GC Miracle isn’t just Dance Marathon,” Innis said. “It’s just one event out of everything we do. Dance Marathon is the culmination of everything we’ve done for the past 365 days.”
GC Miracle supports a hospital in Macon that is in the process of a much-needed expansion, so the money raised, totaling over a quarter of a million dollars, will go directly to that effort.
During Dance Marathon, students stand, dance—anything but sit down. But this long haul doesn’t drain the energy from the dancers. Instead, students bring their passion and excitement for the cause. For many, the event is personal, adding another layer to the marathon.
“I was really sick as a kid, and I wouldn’t be here today if not for the technology that Children’s developed,” said freshman dancer Natalie Miller. “So participating in Dance Marathon is my way of supporting kids like me.”
Because of the planning and coordination provided by Innis and the entire executive board of GC Miracle, there was never a dull moment.
“Janae just put so much heart into it and has done an amazing job planning everything,” said junior morale leader Bentley White.
During the event, Innis fixed problems and clarified instructions with ease, running around but also taking time to participate in the silent disco and dance with other executive board members when possible.
GC Miracle has been a part of Innis’ life since freshman year, when she saw them advertising at CAB’s annual Midnight Breakfast.
“I just saw a flier for a dance marathon and thought, ‘Oh my God, they did that on Gilmore Girls, that sounds so fun,’” Innis explained.
From there, she moved up to being a morale leader her sophomore year. Then she became the director of morale her junior year, and now she is the director of entertainment.
“Dance Marathon is definitely one of my favorite parts of GC Miracle, so it’s cool that during my last year, this is my position,” Innis said. “The fact that I’m making it work is just everything to me because DM has become such a big part of me.”
Emphasized throughout the night was the fact that Dance Marathon isn’t about the numbers: it’s about the miracles that will come from the money raised.
“Every kid should have the right to be a kid and play outside and have special moments, and it just breaks my heart that illness happens to these kids,” Innis said. “We want to do anything that we can to do bring them light, bring them hope and just be a miracle because these kids that fight cancer are the miracles.”
With over $250,000 raised, GC Miracle just sponsored a whole lot of miracles.