With 10 days left until the largest dance party on campus, members of the largest team are preparing for the 12-hour dance marathon.
More than 160 dancers and $12,726.22 make up the “Lincoln Love” BuckeyeThon team, the leader in fundraising and the largest team this year.
Last year, the Lincoln team was the largest group of dancers at BuckeyeThon, and this year they’re hoping to raise the bar, said Nate Miglich, a third-year in medical dietetics and “Lincoln Love” team captain.
“Since we had kind of a good footing last year,” Miglich said. “We (wanted) to try to make the team bigger and better this year.”
The 12-hour dance marathon supports pediatric cancer treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and the children were Miglich’s motivation to grow the Lincoln team, he said.
“I think that’s really the best part that made me … want to come back this year and try to make the effort bigger and try to give back in a bigger way than we did last year,” Miglich said.
The team’s success last year was key in recruitment that started as early as move-in day, Miglich said.
Miglich is a resident adviser in Lincoln Tower, and said she knew residents would be eager to get involved.
“In Lincoln, we usually have pretty open and energetic people here,” Miglich said. “They’re usually looking to get involved and have fun.”
Kelsey Davis, a second-year in psychology, lives in Lincoln and said she decided to join the BuckeyeThon steering committee after being a dancer last year.
Though she is raising money as part of the “Lincoln Love” team, Davis said she focuses most of her time on recruitment as the residence hall recruitment chair.
Last year, the Lincoln team had about 145 members and Davis said she is anxious to beat that number this year.
“I check the (web)page about once an hour to check our fundraising and our dancer numbers,” Davis said.
Davis said most of the “Lincoln Love” team is made up of residents, thanks to recruitment by RAs.
“They’ve done a really great job of getting people involved,” Davis said. “Everyone knows their RA, and if your RA is really passionate about something, you’re going to be passionate about it.”
One of Miglich’s residents is Jennifer Goodman, a first-year in biology and “Lincoln Love” team member who, despite inexperience, said she loves to dance.
“One day in high school I just found out that I really like to dance, and then I just always dance like a maniac,” Goodman.
Goodman said she decided to join the “Lincoln Love” team after dancing in Metrothon, a six-hour dance marathon at Columbus Metro High School, last year. Goodman’s fundraising goal started at $80 but she has raised more than $125.
The “Lincoln Love” team created T-shirts for the event and sold them to dancers to raise an additional $800 or $900, Davis said.
Davis is one of the top fundraisers on the “Lincoln Love” team with $650.
She said she met her goal of $300 before Thanksgiving, and continued increasing her goal to encourage more people to donate.
“It was crazy,” Davis said. “I don’t really know what happened. My fundraising just kind of exploded.”
As a dancer and a member of the BuckeyeThon steering committee, Davis said she is excited and nervous about the event, taking place in the Archie Griffin Grand Ballroom on Feb. 25-26.
“We’re all getting really pumped and kind of nervous,” Davis said. “To me, it kind of feels like planning a wedding.”
Despite pre-event jitters, Davis said she is looking forward to giving the children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital who will attend the event a night that they won’t forget.
“At BuckeyeThon, they are just kids. They’re not kids with cancer,” Davis said. “They’re not kids that had chemotherapy the day before. They’re kids who are here to have a good time and see some crazy college kids dancing for them.”