Raking for the kids

RDM manages to raise money despite new challenges


Photo contributed by Jorie DePalma

Riley Dance Marathon members sophomore Ben Henderson, junior Emma Meredith, senior Keely Sullivan, senior Jacob Kinney and junior Ellie Brown rake yards on Nov. 5. Raking for Riley was used to raise money for the organization.

Even through the changing cold weather and fighting through a pandemic, Riley Dance Marathon is still putting in time to volunteer.

The crew went to rake yards of Riley families to earn funds for the hospital on Oct. 24 and Nov. 5. 

Freshman RDM member Dorrie June was a participant in raking for Riley.

“We’re raising funds for the families at RDM and the research…,” June said. “We want to pay to take a bit of the stress off (the families).”  

The more people that provide money to RDM through fundraisers and donations, the more money that goes to the hospital.

“We don’t ask for a certain amount, we just ask the homeowner to donate whatever they feel comfortable with so we get donations from anywhere from 50 to 200 dollars depending on the yard.” said DePalma. 

 According to sophomore RDM member Benjamin Henderson, it is not up to RDM to sponsor families. However, families are welcome to speak at the dance marathon in the Spring.

“Everything goes to Riley and they choose what to do with it,” Henderson said.

At first, when RDM members went to homes and raked yards, the yards were the homes of past Riley families who have been through the hospital. 

The raking services were then extended to anyone who donated to RDM and needed their yards raked. According to DePalma, the cost for raking for Riley was nothing.

“Most of our fundraisers have no cost involved. We don’t actually operate on any budget,” DePalma said. “One hundred percent of our donation money goes directly to Riley. We bring our own rakes and manpower and the homeowner provides the bags so there is no overhead cost for us.” 

In order to get their yard raked, homeowners must either contact DePalma or other RDM members. From there, a date will be scheduled and the members of RDM will go to their house and rake their yard. 

With the way that SHS does it, everyone is encouraged to donate and spread the word.  RDM is currently spreading the word with fliers around SHS to advertise the fundraiser, and social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

RDM members are also asking family members, friends and colleagues to chip in what they can to boost their money raised, like they do annually.

“It’s really nice to know that you are doing something that helps people,” June said.