Students play Just Dance on Nov. 2, 2019, during Hawkathon at Lamberton Hall. Every person in attendance helped raise money for the Child Life Department at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, totaling $33,815.38. (Sally Gu/B&W Staff)

Hawkathon raises over $30,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

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Hawkathon Family Relations Chair, Tess Buskirk, '21, helps Gary Salijko present his story on stage at Hawkathon on Nov. 2, 2019 in Lamberton Hall. Hawkathon raised $33,815.38 for the Child Life Department at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, which gives support to miracle kids like Gary and their families while they receive treatment at the hospital. (Sally Gu/B&W Staff)

Lehigh University hosted Hawkathon, an annual 12-hour dance marathon, in Lamberton Hall on Saturday, Nov. 2. 

Hawkathon is Lehigh’s rendition of the Miracle Network Dance Marathons that occur nationwide to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for more than 170 pediatric hospitals across North America.

Lehigh’s donations go to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

During the event, dancers participated in games, visited tables staffed by student organizations, participated in fundraising, learned Zumba and interacted with many other students who have all come together to support the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Our main goal is to raise awareness and raise money for (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia),” said Olivia O’Donnell, ‘20, the external director of Hawkathon. “We have miracle kids, who were treated at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who come to the event. The purpose of the event is just to have those kids come and not think about their treatment, or anything that they are struggling with.” 

The event was brought to Lehigh by a group of students in 2013. 

Students all throughout campus participated in Hawkathon, from registering as a participant to running tables with their student organizations. 

Fundraising is year-long job for the executive board of Hawkathon. 

“We choose our executive board at the beginning of the spring semester in February, and we are planning all throughout the year,” O’Donnell said. “Each ‘exec’ member has their own specific area that they are planning for the event. I am the external director, so I run the external committee, which consists of social media, getting emails to people, getting people to register getting Greek chapters involved and getting the whole campus involved.” 

This year, fundraising increased by 15% from last year’s Hawkathon, which raised $26,000, before the event even started.

The Pi Beta Phi sorority ran a ring toss game at the dance marathon. Sarah Hancock, ‘22, helped run the game and was a participant. 

“Hawkathon encourages all of Lehigh’s students to unify on a Saturday and spend as many hours as we want here, play games, have fun, and most importantly, raise money for the kids who can’t help themselves, and need us to support them,” Hancock said. 

Helen Flynn, ‘22, said her cousin was previously a patient at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and she enjoys taking part in the event for all 12 hours, to honor and support the hospital’s work. 

“I think this event is important because it makes Greek life, and all students at Lehigh participate in something that is such a good cause,” Flynn said.

She said it’s a huge support for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and it also unifies Lehigh with other schools around the country, as many universities hold dance marathons for the Miracle Network. 

Hawkathon raised $33,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


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