Move over Running Man, Dougie and Shuffle, there is a new dance in town — well actually an old one — but it packs a fundraising punch. Hundreds of swing dancers recently raised more than $124,000 for City of Hope by strutting their stuff at the sixth annual Lindy Hop for Hope in Irvine, Calif.
Dancers take the floor at the 24 Hour Fitness in Irvine, Calif., for the sixth annual Lindy Hop for Hope dance-a-thon. (Photo by Lennox Vu)
Several live bands and DJs donated their time at the November 2011 event, held at a 24 Hour Fitness gym, to provide music for more than 500 dancers throughout the 24-hour cancer dance-a-thon. Local news channels carried live coverage of the event, including KTLA 5, which had dancers in studio throughout its morning news program.
The cancer dance-a-thon is put on by City of Hope’s Pathways to Hope chapter. Chapter president Rona Reeves and her sister Lisa Vargas, chapter member and breast cancer survivor, are proud of the event’s popularity.
“The dance-a-thon was a huge success with widespread media coverage, record late night participation and, of course, in raising $124,000 for City of Hope,” said Vargas. “The people that come here have been touched in one way or another by cancer, and this is their way of giving back.”
Dance-a-thon organizers Shesha and Nikki Marvin, owners of the Atomic Ballroom dance studios in Irvine and Placentia, started the cancer dance-a-thon back in 2005. The husband-and-wife team hopes to raise a quarter of a million dollars next year.
“My wife, Nikki, and I started the Lindy Hop for Hope because we thought it would be even more fun to dance for 24 hours than to walk for 24 hours,” said Shesha Marvin. “We promoted the event to our swing dance community and were shocked by how many people joined us. Each year the event has grown with the support of swing bands, teachers and dancers, DJs, 24 Hour Fitness and Pathways to Hope chapter members, all of whom volunteer their time and talent. 2012 is our ‘million dollar year’ as we will try to meet a cumulative goal of $1 million raised for City of Hope.”
For more information about the event, including videos, visit www.danceathon.org.