By Valentina Caval
SC Staff Writer
Thundering dance music bounced off the walls and sparkling lights ricocheted from one end of East Stroudsburg University’s Kohler Fieldhouse to the other. Hundreds of students blended together in matching hot pink t-shirts ready to take on the challenge of dancing for six hours straight at the Burg Boogie –a marathon founded to raise money for Naomi Chan, who suffers from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
“An event like this is not about a few people doing a lot. It is about a lot of people doing a little bit. Thankfully for us, we had both of these kinds of people,” said Sam Pearce, the founder and head coordinator of Burg Boogie, his eyes full of gratitude.
A Warrior’s Ideas
Sam Pearce has always believed that members of Greek Life should hold themselves in a higher standard than independent students, mainly because they are entitled to resources that are unavailable for most students. With a strong desire to meet this higher standard, Pearce worked on creating a noteworthy philanthropic event. When a friend informed him of the UDance event that recently occurred at the University of Delaware, Pearce knew he found his answer.
He immediately contacted the B+ Foundation and started from there, unaware that his event would be ranked the highest philanthropy at East Stroudsburg University.
The Greek Organizations at East Stroudsburg teamed up with the B+ Foundation to create the Burg Boogie dance marathon that took place on Friday, April 13. The foundation set up a program known as B+ heroes, in which the students “adopt” a hero in order to personalize the cause.
The B+ foundation found Naomi Chan, who lives locally in East Stroudsburg. Naomi is 12 years old and was diagnosed with AML, a type of cancer that interferes with the production of normal blood cells. Naomi’s story just made ESU students more committed to Burg Boogie. Naomi and her family attended the dance marathon on Friday, making sure to express their gratitude to the money raised on her behalf.
When it came to spreading the word about Burg Boogie, Pearce admitted that it was the most challenging part of coordinating the event.
“Getting the message across was tough and it’s an area we hope to improve most for future events. The committee was very small so it was hard to get the name out there,” he explained, “but I emailed every coach and reached out to a lot of organizations. So, hopefully, next year we can get everyone’s involvement and turn this into a huge event.”
Gathering of Warriors
Approximately 400 students walk through the doors of Kohler Fieldhouse on Friday, April 13. The event included music played by Djs from local bars Siamsas and Maritas in East Stroudsburg. Burg Boogie also held a raffle in which the prizes were donated.
The students who were a part of Greek Life designed specific t-shirts for Burg Boogie. The hot- pink shirts included the emblem of the B+ Foundation.
As the night began, students threw in their best dance moves as they sang along to the music. Dancing in groups and individually, the event was an explosion of energy and movement.
The hours blew past the students, as they appeared to be enjoying their time. Dancing among friends and listening to popular hit music was not much different from their typical Friday night.
“I honestly could not think of anything I would rather do on a Friday night. I was doing what I enjoy, and doing it for a good cause just made it ten times better,” said Kathryn Bock, a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
Four hours later, the night had regressed to sluggish lilting in place. The water bottles that were stacked high in the beginning had quickly diminished; the event concluded at 10:30 PM.
A Warrior Success
ESU students were successful in the money raised at the dance marathon, ending the night with a total of $15,709.
“Our original goal was $10,000, which we beat with a fair amount of time left. It than got bumped to $15,000, which we also beat. The site is still up and running and people are still donating. We expect to break $16,000 before we close the site,” said Pearce.
Among the students, Pearce was the top individual for raising the most money with a total of $4,745, followed by Rebecca Perri with $549 and Chris Tracy with $485. Thirteen organizations at ESU participated in Burg Boogie. The top five for earning most donations included , The Theta Chi Fraternity, with $6,745, Alpha Sigma Tau, with $1,530 ,Sigma Sigma Sigma, with $1,505, Alpha Omicron Pi, with $1,229, and the Sigma Pi Fraternity, raised $910. PRSSA raised $335,–the most out of any non-Greek Life organization.
The Greek Life at ESU will organize and run the Burg Boogie annually. It is entirely student run, and opened to everyone on campus. As far as being on the committee, however, that is something that is exclusive to Greek Life.
“With the amazing success we had at this first one, everyone is already excited about next year and looking at how we can make it better,” Pearce concluded enthusiastically.
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