Ramthon 2022 - West Chester University
This fall, University Tees had the privilege of designing and producing 300 custom shirts for West Chester University's Dance Marathon event, RamTHON! Their annual event was a HUGE success this year. We had the chance chat with Emily Gowman, RamTHON's Executive Director for 2022!
Is this the first RamTHON at West Chester?
We just ended our third year of RamTHON here at West Chester University. Our first year was online due to COVID-19, and last year was our first year having a main event in person. We were able to raise over $21,000 last year. We are looking forward to entering our fourth year.
What is RamTHON and what exactly is your cause?
Our organization is called WCU Dance Marathon. We are a non-profit raising money and awareness for children’s health. We have smaller scale fundraisers, meetings, and events throughout the year that lead up to our main event RamTHON in November. RamTHON is a 6 hour no sitting event where we have various performers, food options, vendors, games, and families there to share their stories. The no sitting is to signify that nothing compares to the uncomfort a child goes through in the hospital.
If you do this event again in the future, is the cause only going to be towards children with cancer or maybe another group?
We are affiliated with Miracle Network: a philanthropic movement, uniting students at over 400 colleges, universities and high schools across North America. As a fundraising program for the local CMN Hospital, each campus’s Dance Marathon organization works throughout the year to raise funds and awareness to benefit the hospital treating sick and injured kids right in the school’s local community. West Chester University Dance Marathon was founded in 2020 by a group of students eager to support the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Each year the executive board chooses what department the funding will go to at CHOP; one hundred percent of what is raised goes directly to that department in the hospital. This year we chose to donate to the oncology department at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, however, every year we are able to choose a new department for the funds to be donated to.
What is the entry cost for RamTHON participants?
Students were able to register in advance on donor drive which is our fundraising platform. Once registered, they were guaranteed free entry into the main event. For students who did not register in advance, it was a $10 entry fee. Every student received a free custom t-shirt with the entry fee, or due to pre-registration on donor drive.
How much did your organization raise by the end of the event?
In total we raised $30,273.45 which 100% of that total will go the oncology department at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Yes, you read that right. Over $30,000 was raised in SIX HOURS to support the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Way to go WCU!
What events did your team host throughout the day?
Before RamTHON, we reached out to various clubs and teams here at WCU. We are very grateful to have had Under A Rest, High Street Harmonix, Ram Cheer, WCU Dance Team, The Irish Dance Team, and Miss WCU Julie Stinson! Having all of the performances at our event was awesome entertainment, and also allowed us to create so many connections across campus. Throughout the event we also hosted a cornhole tournament, minute-to-win-it games, karaoke, and so many more exciting things!
How does this event impact children who are diagnosed with cancer?
Dance Marathon is affiliated with Miracle Network Hospitals, and we donate directly to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For every dollar donated to a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, 18% goes toward charitable care, 15% goes toward life-saving equipment, 12% supports medical research, and 55% provides education, patient services, and advancement services. We are very fortunate to host our Miracle Families at our event. Many families who are being treated at CHOP come to share their stories, and share just how impactful our donations are. They are truly inspiring to see first hand how life changing our donations and support can be.
What are some final words regarding the entire RamTHON event as a whole?
I am incredibly proud of our entire team, along with all of our donors, family, friends, and participants for the immense support they have shown our organization from the start of the year. Dance Marathon is truly a family! Being able to dance with our miracle children was one of the biggest highlights for me at this year's RamTHON. Seeing their bright and beautiful smiles sums up why I love this event, and this organization perfectly! Changing kids' health will change the future. - Sammi Rudner (Event Operations Chair 2022 ~ Executive Director 2023)
I could not ask for a better group of people to lead this year. Since we are still such a new organization on campus it required the team to be flexible and to take initiative. I’m so proud of every exec member, captain and participant at RamTHON. We could not have done this without the support of family, friends, donors, and WCU administration. I cannot wait to continue to see this organization grow! WCU RamTHON strives to make every individual feel included, important, and recognized. We pride ourselves on our optimism and are excited to continue to change kids health to change the future.
We are so grateful for WCU staff for helping us to plan such a successful event. We wanted to give a special shoutout to Kimmy Farrer, Cara Jenkins, Jordan Maxwell, Kiara Gunzamos, Donna Snyder, and Laure Sheehan. And of course all of the Sykes staff for their assistance in setting up and day of needs.
University Tees is so proud of WCU RamTHON for such a successful event! We are honored to have had the opportunity to create custom apparel for this fundraiser and help each participant remember this day whenever they wear their tee!
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