The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Dancing to make a difference

One of SMU’s biggest charity events takes place this weekend, and organizers hope to raise more money than ever before.

Mustang Marathon, the largest student-run philanthropy project on SMU’s campus, will be held Feb. 25-26 in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

The 24-hour dance marathon benefits pediatric AIDS, with half of the money raised going towards research with the Glaser Foundation, which according to their website, specializes in eradicating pediatric AIDS and providing treatment for those affected by pediatric AIDS.

The other 50 percent of the money raised will benefit Bryan’s House, a local pediatric AIDS organization that was founded in 1988.  Linda Robertson, Director of Bryan’s House, describes the mission of Bryan’s House as the ability to “respond to the need of kids and family who are impacted by HIV.”

The money that is raised “goes to the early childhood education program,” she said.

The money that the Marathon raises is extremely vital to Bryan’s House foundation and will “benefit children and families phenomenally,” Robertson said.

Aimee Alexander, a senior advertising and cinema-television major and student co-director of Mustang Marathon, says that each person participating in the Marathon is required to raise $400, 85 percent to be raised before the actual dance marathon.

Mustang Marathon has become a tradition for many student organizations and fraternities and sororities since Jim Barber, the Inter-Fraternity Council Advisor, started it four years ago.

Alexander says the first year’s event was rather small and quickly put together, but still raised $40,000. Since then, the Marathon has raised at a minimum $40,000, but the second year was the most profitable thus far. This year’s goal is to raise $80,000.

In the past, Mustang Marathon was more of a personal individual event, but this year the Steering Committee decided to create “Dancer Families.” Dancer Families are groups of ten people, mostly from organizations and residence halls.

Katy Horgan, a junior marketing major, is heading up Kappa Kappa Gamma’s team. She said it would be easier to raise more money using the team model.

“It’s a better system, more fun, more people,” she said.

Dale Vaughn, a junior Corporate Communications and Public Affairs major, is heading up Sigma Phi Epsilon’s team. “Although the individuality of Mustang Marathon is what is alluring, having the families is more comforting,” he said.

Throughout the academic year, the families have had various opportunities to earn money both individually and through the various events Mustang Marathon sponsors, according to its Web site. Most people raise money via Pony by having their friends use their Pony Express Card to get donations, Vaughn said. Mustang Marathon also has Jail and Bail, which took place in the fall during one of the football games. Pre-selected participants were placed in a fake jail cell and had to raise $250 to get out of jail. Those who wished to put people in jail during the game could do so for $5, and to get out of jail those people had to raise $50, according to Alexander.

Horgan’s team raised $1,000 from Jail and Bail alone. She says that another way her team has been raising money is to ask their friends and family to donate money.

Another opportunity to raise money was Thursday’s concert with Corey Marrow and Britney Wells at Gilley’s, according to the Mustang Marathon Web site.

Most students participate in order to help raise awareness about pediatric AIDS. Horgan participates in order to get an appreciation for herself as well as her health. She says by participating she can help people “realize that there is a whole bigger world out there and it’s our responsibility to do something about it.”

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