State-A-Thon has doubled its donation goal for Sanford’s childcare citadel – The Collegian

SDSU State-A-Thon is the largest student-led organization on campus and raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network. The club currently has 215 members, and is part of a national movement called Dance Marathon. The money they raise throughout the year through fundraisers is donated to Sanford’s Child Care Castle in Sioux Falls.

State-A-Thon “Dream Week” was held October 2-6. It was full of events and fundraising opportunities. There was trivia night at Wooden Legs Brewing Company, bingo at Eponymous Brewing Company, tip night at Tropical Smoothie Café, and an angel concert to honor children who have died.

This was preparation for the big day: 10k a day. The goal was to raise $10,000 on Thursday, and the goal had nearly doubled by the end of the day to raise $18,800.32 in donations.

The overall total for the week was $25,085.83.

Ellie Jo Simpson is a sophomore criminology major from Pierre, South Dakota. She is one of the co-chairs of facilities in the organization.

Simpson said the biggest focus of “Dream Week” was to attract more members, raise money and spread the word.

“It’s not just about raising money, it’s about seeing where the money is going and seeing the kids and raising awareness,” Simpson said. “The people you meet, the relationships you make, and your influence there make a big difference.”

Haley Hokanson is a senior pharmacy student from Rosholt, South Dakota, and the chair of the State-A-Thon. She learned about State-A-Thon her first week on campus, thought it was a great cause and never looked back.

“The most rewarding part is that what you do and all the things you do don’t directly affect you,” Hokanson said. “But you get rewarded when you know someone else benefited from all the hard work you put in.”

“Dream Week” was the fall pay week for State-A-Thon. The biggest event will take place on April 13, 2024, with members spending the day dancing, playing games and spending time with children and their families. Last year, $143,623.23 was raised for Sanford Children’s Castle.

Matilin Kerr is the program advisor for SDSU. She had participated in the State-A-Thon when she attended SDSU, so when this job position opened up for her, she couldn’t turn it down.

Kerr loves working with children, students and all the relationships she has built over the years. She said there were more than 400 Brookings children treated at Sanford Children’s Castle last year.

“Babies are not asking to get sick or to be born sick,” Kerr said. “If we can be a little help to them, why not?”

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