Making the marathon

SHS RDM prepared for and put on marathon despite changes this year


Johnny Romo

RDM president senior Olivia Graphman waits to gather the crowd and bring in a Riley kid at the SHS Fieldhouse on April 21. This is a Riley Dance Marathon tradition and the kids participate in Marathon activities.

Riley Dance Marathon is known as non-profit fundraisers of hundreds of thousands of dollars for Riley Children’s Hospital, as well as possibly one of the biggest clubs around SHS. The group, all-year, pushes to raise money.

At the end of the school year, the nonprofit hosts a “Marathon” to commemorate how much they have raised and to celebrate the ones doing the hard work as well as the ones contributing to it.

It’s no secret that the club has had some changes this year. One of the most important ones being that there are three entirely new sponsors, and a returning sponsor who had taken a break for the past couple years.

“We have four different sponsors this year, Mrs. Ellis, Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Jordan and Mr. Leonard,” RDM president Olivia Graphman said. “Some of the changes that I’ve made … this year at the marathon (are) we’re trying to add more games.”

New group activities at the Marathon included a lip syncing battle, dance circle, a dance battle and a wing-eating competition. Solo activities included nine square, volleyball, badminton, cornhole, basketball, spike ball and a bedazzling station to show your spirit.

Rotations of activities at the Marathon were how the events worked. However, Graphman has changed that so that the stations are now group led.

Last year, the club had a lot of seniors that were very popular and “bubbly,” as described by Graphman. However, since they have since graduated, that leads to a new board of directors to fill in their spots.

Morale Director junior Lexi Nix announces the first group activity of the marathon. This game required a pair to pop a balloon with each others bodies. photo by Johnny Romo

This leads into the issue of participation as well as attendance. This isn’t an issue for only RDM though but possibly for the entire school as a whole. RDM members have been dropping out and skipping meetings, leaving directors by themselves.

“At our committee meetings, we don’t have as many people,” Director of Operations Annika Solis said. “I remember last year, there would be meetings and there would be so many people there, but now, it’s not that many people in Mrs. Schott’s classroom.”

Since Jodie Depalma left, RDM’s former sponsor, they’ve lost access to a wide range of things that Depalma knew how to do and had access to.

Graphman thinks that RDM’s issues have improved now that it’s closer to the Marathon than at the beginning of the year, and she is optimistic that next year the club will be able to regain its popularity.

“People undermine how impactful our Riley Dance Marathon here at SHS is,” RDM member Van Chin said. “I feel like we have raised so much money for the kids, and it just brings us together.”