On April 12th, the DancePurple Committee hosted a fundraising reveal for the money raised from 2020-2021. Students gathered in the Quad on Kentucky Wesleyan College’s campus to partake in games, food, and fun with friends. It was a refreshing scene to see students having a chance to interact in a group like this since so many of the bigger events had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. They were laughing, playing cornhole and other games, and enjoying themselves in the sunshine. Though they were happy to be in attendance, many were not aware of why the event itself was being held. To better explain the purpose and the significance of DancePurple, it is important to know where the dream began.
At the University of Kentucky, a student-run organization called DanceBlue raises money year-round leading up to their 24 hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon. The money raised through DanceBlue is donated to the Golden Matrix Fund which was established to support the kids of the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic. The DanceBlue Story Jarrett Mynear was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, at the age of two. His leg was amputated at age three, and he was diagnosed with various forms of cancer six times by age thirteen. However, what made Jarrett special was his undying spirit, his ability to cope with life-threatening situations, and his devotion to helping others.
During the last week of his life in 2002, Jarrett created a list of requests. One of which was to raise funds for improving the Pediatric Oncology Outpatient Clinic at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. It was decided that a dance marathon would be an ideal fit and would become one of the greatest traditions at the University of Kentucky. DanceBlue has become one of the fastest growing dance marathons in the United States. In 2018, DanceBlue raised a record $1,804,068.77 For The Kids! Hopefully, by next year the DancePurple Committee will get the chance to host their own mini-marathon similar to the one at the University of Kentucky.
Our Committee has raised thousands of dollars over the last three years for this cause. Though we may be a small campus, Kentucky Wesleyan College has certainly risen to the occasion and made considerable donations for DancePurple. It has been an incredible experience to witness the kind and giving nature of the students, faculty, and staff alike on this campus. None of this can be done without the generosity of the people in our community, both on and off Wesleyan’s grounds.