12 days of Riley


Photo by Emma Wiese

On Dec. 1, RDM board members met to discuss the upcoming “12 Days of Riley” campaign. The first day of the campaign started on Monday, Dec. 4.

Emma Wiese, Reporter

“The 12 Days of Christmas” is a song about gift giving. It revolves around a couple, one of whom gives an increasing amount of Christmas gifts to the other over the course of twelve days. SHS’ Riley Dance Marathon (RDM) has decided to take that idea of gift giving and run with it, creating the first-ever 12 Days of Riley event.

The 12 Days of Riley is a campaign to spread awareness about Riley Children’s Hospital and about the dance marathon fundraiser for Riley taking place at SHS in the spring. The campaign is happening during the three weeks before Christmas break. The RDM committee has organized a different event each day. Some of these events include a merry miracle minute, Frosty’s friendly phrases in which you can send sweet notes to other RDM participants, an ugly Christmas sweater competition and a chance to write Christmas cards to children at Riley Hospital. These events are a festive way to celebrate the holidays, according to RDM faculty sponsor Jorie Depalma.

“We not only want to promote the Southport’s Riley Dance Marathon,” Depalma said. “We want to promote Christmas cheer among the school community and among our organization.”

This is the first time SHS RDM has ever done this event. RDM president, senior Kaylie Turner, explains that they had planned on only doing one day of fundraising during the holiday season, but, after consulting with their RDM supervisors at Indiana University, they rethought their plans.

“They kinda said, ‘Well, maybe it would be better to do a different sort of event,’” Turner said. “So we brainstormed, and came up with this, and everyone liked it.”

The RDM committee here in Southport has been planning this for several weeks and hopes to have an enthusiastic response. There are certain events that each member has been looking forward to. Depalma has been the most excited about “Tell us why you DM,” a day where RDM participants write down their reasons for being passionate about supporting and raising money for Riley, and each slip of paper will be connected into a paper chain used to decorate an RDM Christmas tree. Hairo Rivas, Director of Public Relations of the RDM committee, is looking forward to decorating ornaments with fellow committee members and directors. However, Turner is looking forward to something different- a little friendly competition with her fellow RDM participants.

“We’re having an internal bingo card game for the committee members,” Kaylie says, “We’ve got a lot of events going on, and at every event that they go to they can get their bingo card stamped, and when you get it all done and turned in you get a prize.”

Competition or no competition, the SHS RDM organizers all have high hopes for the first-ever 12 Days of Riley, and are excited to spread Christmas cheer while supporting such a worthy cause.