More than 500 students gathered in Eisner & Lubin Auditorium to raise money to benefit the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation at NYU’s second annual dance marathon on Nov. 16. The event, which was hosted by New York Dance Marathon, raised a total of $252,757.68 — over double what was raised last year.
Founded in 2013 by members of NYU greek life, the NYDM is a year-long fundraising challenge culminating in a 12-hour dance marathon. The proceeds are used to support pediatric cancer research and provide support for the families of children with cancer.
All individuals who fundraised more than $250 during the year were invited to attend the dance marathon. This year’s marathon included more than 250 participants. The children whose treatment the money funded, the B+ Heroes, were also invited to join the party and perform in a talent show during the afternoon.
NYDM co-executive director Jillian Haslett, a College of Nursing senior and member of Alpha Epsilon Phi, said the event was meant to support children who are fighting cancer.
“Our fraternities and sororities have adopted 14 kids who are diagnosed with pediatric cancer this year,” Haslett said. “They are our heroes. All we do is for these kids. We want to help them and their family fight the cancer.”
Sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi and fraternity Zeta Beta Tao were the top fundraisers and, for the second year, Alex Oliveira of Delta Phi Epsilon was recognized as the NYDM’s top individual fundraiser.
B+ founder Joe McDonough, the father of Andrew McDonough, said the event was an important component of the nonprofit’s efforts.
“My son died because of leukemia, a kind of blood cancer, when he was 14, then me and my family decided to found this nonprofit to raise money to help family pay bill for their kids,” McDonough said. “NYDM is certainly one of the most important contributors. What they’ve done is just amazing. It takes my breath away.”
Steinhardt sophomore Lilia Chu of Zeta Tau Alpha said she was happy to participate in the Dance Marathon because she saw where her sorority’s fundraising efforts were going.
“These kids make me feel so inspired,” Chu said. “The Dance Marathon makes the donors really see where the money are going to and who we are helping.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 17 print edition. Email Lingyi Hou at [email protected]