Marathon dance tops $2 million in fundraising

Marathon dance tops $2 million in fundraising
Source: Deep Run Marathon Dance

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The Deep Run Marathon Dance is coming to a close after 12 years, but not before topping $2 million in fundraising.

The annual event had raised a total of $1,973,000 since 2007 heading into the final event. More than 6,000 Deep Run students have participated.

The last event over the weekend raised more than $197,000, topping the $2 million mark.

Kathleen Kern is the Deep Run teacher who launched the event. She is thankful to the community for their support over the years.

"The event wouldn't have been possible without the businesses, volunteers, donors and other ardent supporters who never waiver when I call repeatedly with requests," said Kern. "So many local businesses share the same values of charitable giving that we advocate for the dance. The resources they have provided over the years have enabled this event to succeed for 12 years."

On Thursday, dozens of students and staff were busy decorating the gym and setting up the DJ stage and lights. The idea is simple: students will dance non-stop for 27 hours and raise money for charity.

"I only anticipated doing it one year and being done," said Kern.

During the first year, she says the dance raised $74,000 for the Autism Society of Central Virginia.

"Once the second year came, we realized we should maybe open it up to more organizations," said Kern.

Over the years, more than a hundred local charities have benefited from the fundraiser, and students have raised close to $2 million. More importantly, they're learning about the importance of giving back.

"Just the impact of one person, 20 people or 50 people...can make a world of difference," says senior J.P. Terrell.

This year will be the 12th and final Marathon Dance for Deep Run High School. Kern actually met her husband, David, at the marathon dance. He works at Deep Run too, as a special education teacher.

They've put the dance on together, but Kern says it's time to focus on her own young children.

"It means the world to me," she said.  "My family down in Virginia kind of blossomed from this dance. So letting it go and it being the last year is probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I had to choose which role is the most important role in my life, and mother is definitely it."

With this being the finale, the students hope to make this the most successful year ever.

"We very much encourage people to come by and make a donation anytime during the dance," said Kern.

Opening ceremonies will be on March 16 at 7 p.m., at the Deep Run High School gymnasium. The finale will be on March 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Interested members of the public can donate until March 31 by sending a check to: Deep Run HS, 4801 Twin Hickory Road, Glen Allen, Va. 23059, Attn: Kathleen Kern, DRMD director. Checks should be made payable to "DRHS." Checks will also be accepted at the event.

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