HootaThon is a student organization at Temple that raises funds for CHOP, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Each year, hundreds of Temple students, faculty, alumni and CHOP patients come together for multiple fundraising events, ending with an incredible 12-hour dance marathon.
Members of HootaThon anxiously awaited this year’s dance marathon, which took place on November 7, 2015.
“We hope to surpass our total from 2014 this coming November for HootaThon 2015, where we have declared an ambitious fundraising goal of $215,000,” the HootaThon website announced.
However, reaching such an enormous goal is not a simple task. Tons of behind-the-scenes work takes place all year leading up to the main event, including volunteer and dancer recruitment, can-shake fundraisers, bake sales, event planning and much more.
“In order to help the kids, it is important for us to get as many people involved and aware of our cause as possible so we can continue to make miracles happen,” said Alyssa Laufer, a sophomore at Temple and head of the Campus Engagement Committee for HootaThon.
One of the main ways students can get involved with HootaThon is by partaking in the dance marathon. After a simple sign-up process, dancers work to raise $100 prior to the night of the dance marathon. Although this is a challenge, many students discover that fundraising is not only extremely gratifying, but also a ton of fun.
Sophomore Rachael Walker has taken part in multiple can shakes around Center City with her fellow dancers. She hopes to get as many people as possible to sign up next year.
“I decided to get involved because my sorority made a team,” Walker said. “I heard that it was a lot of fun and fulfilling last year.”
Dancers are encouraged to create teams that can hold their own fundraising events, help each other to reach their goals and get other student organizations to advertise the event.
Junior Shannon McCabe is the captain for her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma’s, team.
“I have always had a love for community service, so I try to do whatever I can to volunteer and give back to the community,” McCabe said. “Being a team captain entails planning fundraisers, getting girls in my sorority to sign up, going to HootaThon meetings once a month and helping people reach their $100 goal.”
If dancing for 12 hours straight doesn’t sound appealing, there are other ways to get involved. An individual can join a committee within the organization, help plan fundraising events, or advertise the main event.
The money raised through HootaThon goes directly towards operations within CHOP that fund programs and activities for the patients, buy toys and materials for crafts and more.
Despite the lofty goal, Hootathon managed to raise $280,620.76.
Written by Lauren Griffin
Photographed by Lida Lech