An entire year of preparation, countless phone calls and meetings, and mountains of paperwork all culminated into one moment: the 2013 Runner Dance Marathon. Speaking for myself, and many of the other parties involved, I’m sure that none of us could predict the impact that Friday night’s event would have on the community and with the $7,300 raised at the event, I’m sure that the Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center could not either.
As I walked into the Student Union on Friday, I was greeted by an overwhelming feeling of excitement, anticipation and a tad bit of confusion. Gone were the usual displays of chairs and tables, instead, all I could see, for what seemed like miles, was a sea of yellow shirts. These were not just any yellow shirts though; these were the kind of yellow shirts that you wear when you want to be seen, highlighter yellow shirts of sorts. Needless to say, I was intrigued from the start.
Every corner of the building was dripping with balloons, streamers and a spectrum of various neon colors. From the windows, to the walls, posters and signage detailing the activities for the night plastered the dance floor.
Though I was pumped, I had no idea what shenanigans lay in store for me. No sooner had I walked into the main dance area in multipurpose room, was I met by a crowd of students, a stage area, and two large speaker towers blasting the latest Tyga track. As my friends and I got settled, dance marathon coordinator Hilda Nieblas took the stage and addressed the audience. She explained the basics of how the night’s event was going to work and how thankful she was for the student involvement with the event.
I slowly looked around the room in awe. My gaze was quickly broken when the Hilda announced “ARE YOU READY CSUB? LET’S ALL CHANT…FOR THE KIDS, FOR THE KIDS, FOR THE KIDS…”
The crowd erupted in cheers, chants and fist pumps as the Miracle families, President Mitchell and his wife, the Runner DM committee, MC Kevin Charette, weather caster from KGET-17 and the Children’s Miracle Network representatives took the stage to kick-off the event.
Praises echoed around the room and once the speeches were done, the music started to play and the night was off. The marathon offered something for everyone with free caricature drawings until the wee hours of the morning, a lounge room devoted to gaming and activities, bowling, golf, a photo booth and lest I not forget a jam-packed dance floor.
Throughout the event, attendees got listen to the testimonies of families whose children’s lives were saved by staying at the Lauren Smalls Children’s Medical Center. These were the moments that I cherished. Seeing the children’s smiling faces as they ran around the Student Union was something that will remain forever engrained into my memory.
I’m guessing that’s what they say the college experience is about: making memories with your friends and peers. Lucky for me, these memories were ones that I can contribute to an event that has left and will continue to leave an impact on CSUB and the community in which it thrives.
Story by: Breana Oliver, CSUB Public Affairs & Communications Intern
Photos by: Irma Cervantes, CSUB Public Affairs Coordinator