St. Norbert College is hosting the first annual “Give and Go: SNC Move-Out” with the cooperation of the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning, Residence Hall Association (RHA), Residential Education & Housing (REH), Housekeeping and a local community partner—St. Vincent de Paul. The idea once known as Continue reading →
One week from today, the St. Norbert College community will be gathering together to celebrate service. On Tuesday, May 6, 2014 the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning will be hosting our annual Celebrating Service event. Through spoken stories and visual displays, this event will showcase how students are impacting our community through service. Join us in celebration beginning at 3:00pm in Todd Wehr Hall! Continue reading →
“If there’s one cause that everyone can support together, it’s children. I see this event as a way to bring people together. These children are fighting for their lives every day. Our goal for this event is to make it like their Christmas.” – Ryan Engesser ’15, Dance Marathon Co-President
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Ryan Engesser ‘15 regarding the upcoming campus event, Dance Marathon, which will be taking place on November 2nd. Last year, as a first semester sophomore, Ryan decided that he wanted to create an event that would bring the St. Norbert Community together for one cause. “I took a step back and thought about the big picture. My primary goals were to inspire others and get as many students involved as possible,” said Ryan. He began by talking with a variety of faculty and staff on campus to figure out potential options. After meeting with Jennifer Nissen, Assistant Director of the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning, he decided on Dance Marathon. While working at Iowa State University, Jennifer had been the adviser for Dance Marathon and felt it was exactly the type of event Ryan was looking for.
Dance Marathon is essentially two things, an event and a campus organization. The St. Norbert organization consists of about 35 students who are responsible for planning and managing the comprehensive event, a daylong fundraising celebration. Three co-presidents lead the group and include Ryan Engesser, Nicole Haupert, and Rebecca Liming. “We would not be where we are at now if it weren’t for the two of them leading the group as well. Dance Marathon is too big to have only one person leading and I wouldn’t have anyone else by my side to put this event together. They have really become the heart and soul of the group,” said Ryan.
Since March, the students have been holding fundraisers, recruiting student participants and planning event logistics which include 13.1 hours of games, entertainment and of course dancing! Recently they even performed a flash mob in front of Main Hall. All of this for the purpose of raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children’s hospitals. They are the only national children’s charity committed to having 100% of the funds raised stay local to support local kids. St. Norbert’s event will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The following video explains the story of how Dance Marathon began and its overall mission.
This entire process began with meetings between Ryan and Jennifer during the spring semester. They went through the logistical process of creating the student organization, they gauged student interest, and ultimately built the foundation for the event. Since it is a nationwide movement, there is a basic outline for the event. The core elements include:
1. All participants must stay on their feet throughout the duration of the event. St. Norbert’s is a “half marathon” at 13.1 hours.
2. All dancers will be taught a “morale dance” at the beginning of the celebration and this will be performed every hour, on the hour.
What exactly goes into the celebration is up to the individual organization. Since the beginning of this year, Ryan and the entire Dance Marathon group have been dedicated to creating this into one of the largest events on campus to fulfill the original mission of bringing the St. Norbert community together for one cause. The group has enjoyed planning the event and is excited to see the culmination of their passion and dedication on November 2nd.
The biggest concern Ryan had when starting the group was retention of members. “It’s easy to attract students initially, but the long-term engagement aspect is difficult. I always try to focus on what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We can’t start a meeting until I ask ‘Why do we do it?’ and everyone responds with “For the kids!” And we end our meetings like that as well.”
The Dance Marathon group has been hard at work gathering sponsorships and donations for the event. Sponsors include: Nicolet Bank, Gallagher’s Pizza, Great Harvest Bread, Fraluz, St. Norbert Catering and Events and LightHouse Productions.
Eight children who have received, or are currently receiving treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin will be attending the event with their families. The families will be speaking throughout the day and participating in the day’s events. In addition to dancing, the event will include an opening ceremony, the morale dance, speeches by each of the families, theme hours such as Disney and Luau, Dance Team & Cheerleading Team routines, and a special surprise for everyone who stays until the end.
There are currently 280 registered participants and by the registration deadline the hope is to have at least 300 students registered. If you are a St. Norbert student and would like to register for the event, please click here. Registration ends on Monday, October 28th. The only required cost is a $15 registration fee which will help cover the three provided meals and t-shirt. The suggested personal fundraising goal for all participants is $75, but there is no fundraising requirement.
To date, through fundraising efforts done by the Dance Marathon Organization, as well as the 260 individual participants, fundraising totals stand above $12,000! With an original goal of $20,000, they are well on their way with over a week left to fund raise. If you are not a student, but are a member of the St. Norbert Community, you are welcome to check out the event at any time. If you are interested in supporting the cause, there will be a donation table at the event.
“If there’s one cause that everyone can support together, it’s children. I see this event as a way to bring people together. These children are fighting for their lives every day. Our goal for this event is to make it like their Christmas. We want it to be one day where they don’t have to worry about their illness. Where they can just show up and be a kid. Enjoy life as it is and not worry. The best way to do that is through dancing. People are able to express themselves through dancing. We want to create those smiles. Whether you’re good or bad…come and shake what you got. When a bunch of people come together and dance, it creates an inspirational energy. That’s what this event is all about. One of the biggest things people say is that 13.1 hours is too hard to do. Yeah, it’s gonna hurt. But it’s not gonna hurt when you’re dancing and you look down [to a child] and there’s the reason you’re doing this. It’s gonna be worth it.” – Ryan Engesser ’15
Dance for a Chance. IgKNIGHT hope. And join the cause on November 2nd!
Where does our food come from? What is our food actually made of? These questions are genuinely important, but few of us are able to answer them. Rarely do we pause to think about the impact our food choices have on the bigger picture.
This week, October 14-18, three campus organizations: Environmental Club, St. Norbert Garden, and Oxfam America have teamed up to raise awareness of these issues. Since multiple groups were eager to participate in planning an event, they decided to turn World Food Day (Oct. 16)—a global movement to end hunger—into a week long awareness campaign on the St. Norbert campus.
We had the opportunity to speak with Kelsie George ’15 regarding the collaborative event. Kelsie is the Vice President of the St. Norbert Chapter of Oxfam America. “This year it’s a really big goal of Oxfam to collaborate with other groups on campus, so it’s a really exciting event for us. The overall goal of the week is to inspire individuals to be more aware of where our food is coming from and the impact our food choices have.”
The awareness week begins today with Meatless Monday. Today is devoted to raising awareness of the impact that eating less meat can have. By eliminating meat we can reduce water waste, cut methane emissions and help small producers. The campus groups will be encouraging students to refrain from eating meat today. “I chose to stop eating meat because of how wasteful it truly is. A lot of really poor communities are dependent on rice and starches and don’t have access to meat. It’s more of a luxury than a necessity,” said Kelsie.
Tuesday’s event will focus on the environmental effects of food and food production. The Environmental Club will be hosting “Fresh”, a documentary that celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Watch the trailer below. The documentary will be played in the Fort Howard Theater at 6:00 p.m. It is just over an hour long. Check out the Facebook event!
Wednesday’s theme is “buying local”. This day is being led by the St. Norbert Garden. The group’s overall message is to increase awareness of where our food comes from. This aligns with their mission as a garden which supplies locally grown produce to area food pantries. Next week on Saturday, October 26th, the garden will be hosting their first Harvest Festival. Check out the event and RSVP online!
The awareness week will culminate on Friday evening with a World Food Day Celebration hosted by Oxfam America. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Knight Owl. Light refreshments will be provided in addition to a guided discussion about the power we have as consumers.
“Essentially we want to open people’s eyes to the choices they have. Everyone has the opportunity to be more conscious about the decisions they make and the impact they have,” said Kelsie.
Join Oxfam America, the Environmental Club, and St. Norbert Garden in their campaign!