Lehigh holds its annual Dance Marathon on Saturday, Oct.21 in Grace Hall. The event sponsors the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in Philadelphia, which is one of 170 hospitals that help preform 32 million procedures for children every year. (Logan LaClair/B&W Staff)

Lehigh rebrands dance marathon as Hawkathon


The on-campus organization and event Dance Marathon has changed its name to Hawkathon and refined its purpose.

“We wanted to avoid confusion with the dance team,” said Danny Weaver, ’19, Hawkathon’s executive director. “People thought they have to dance to participate and that’s not true.”

The goal of the event is to raise money for the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and to educate and engage the student community. In the past, the fundraising goal was around $50,000, but this year, the organizers are approaching the event from a different angle.

“We have decided to move away from monetary goals to bringing it back to the kids no matter how much we fundraise for this year’s main 12-hour event,” Weaver said.

Hawkathon’s Morale Chair Ava Martinelli, ’21, said this year’s rebranding had been in the works since last fall when Weaver thought a new name would be useful.

Lehigh’s 12-hour Hawkathon event will be held on Dec. 1 in Lamberton Hall.

Along with student and faculty participants, children from the Lehigh Valley who receive treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will attend. They will share their stories with the Hawkathon attendees and explain how the hospital has helped them.

“(The kids) look forward to this one event all year,” Martinelli said.

As morale chair, Martinelli’s job includes choreographing a dance as well as “dormstorming,” which involves going into first-year residence halls and putting up informational fliers about Hawkathon.

Martinelli said another change to the event is that every member of the organization is getting involved, not just the executive board.

“(Weaver) has pushed us to make personal goals for ourselves,” Martinelli said. “I’m making my own fundraising goals. I would also like to get more guys involved in the dance.”

Weaver said Hawkathon has also rebranded its color scheme to brown, red and blue. Brown represents Lehigh, red represents the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and blue represents the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Morale Captain Emma Stein, ’20, sees Hawkathon as an opportunity for the whole Lehigh community to come together.

“I like being a part of it because (it) allows me to meet more students and be a part of something bigger,” Stein said.

As a captain, Stein is in charge of learning a five-minute dance from the morale chair, Martinelli, which she and other captains then teach to event attendees.

“Hawkathon brings a sense of community to Lehigh,” Martinelli said. “I know a lot of students who have been treated at or who have family members who have been treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. So, it’s a special place.”

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