GlobeMed hosts Dance-a-thon to raise money for a community garden in Rwanda

On Friday, Feb. 19, GlobeMed hosted the 2016 Dance-a-thon, a four hour event in the Esch-Hurvis Room where on-campus dance groups lead participants in a variety of dances. The event lasted from 8 p.m. to midnight. The cost for a ticket was $2 per participant and proceeds went toward a community garden project coordinated by the Lawrence GlobeMed partner organization in Rwanda.

GlobeMed is a global health awareness and service group. The group partners with a community organization in Rwanda to raise money and provide service for ongoing projects. The funds from this year’s Dance-a-thon will go towards helping the Community of Potters, a marginalized ethnic group in Rwanda, build sustainable community gardens. Junior and GlobeMed Co-President Monica Paniagua-Montoya explained, “The gardens are supposed to help fight malnutrition in the community, which is a huge issue in the community, especially among the children.”

Paniagua-Montoya noted, “We started Dance-a-thon last year, after hearing that a couple of other GlobeMed chapters do a similar event. We’re hoping to continue the event every year.”

Each hour, a new group leads the dances. This year, representatives from Swing House and Alianza taught participants. Music each hour corresponded with some of the cultural influences in the dance steps being taught.

Sophomore Elizabeth Utter-Limon attended the event and remarked, “I like how you learn dances like the Bachata and Merengue.” In addition, refreshments and snacks were provided, catered by Bon Appétit. This included cookies, a fruit platter, quesadillas, and chips with dips from around the world. Participants also won prizes from Lawrence Apparel & Gifts, including sweatshirts, water bottles and t-shirts.

The total number of attendees was fewer this year than last year. Utter-Limon said, “I feel like they didn’t advertise it as much so [… there were] limited people at the Dance-a-thon.” While the event was small, Paniagua said, “We really hope that the event brings a little bit of awareness to the campus. The Community of Potters in Rwanda is not a known group, yet the problems they face should be addressed. We hope that by doing fundraisers and other events, Lawrentians will be more aware of other groups around the world.”