RDM raises money and hope


Photo contributed by Caroline Chappell

Senior co-presidents Caroline Chappell and Jaclyn Boyer await the revealing of the fundraising total.

Riley Hyatt and Hailey McKinney, News editor and reporter

As Riley Dance Marathon committee members held up the 15 total poster boards from right to left, silence echoed throughout the field house. These poster boards would not only signify the amount of money being donated to Riley Hospital for Children, it would signify all of the hard work and dedication that’s put into this event. When the number five was raised, RDM attendees cheered. The goal of $50,000 had not only been reached, it had been exceeded by over $100.

“We’re trying to help the kids that can’t help themselves,” junior Sydney Meadors said.

Last Friday, when hundreds of Perry Township students and teachers came together for this special event, attendees showed that RDM is truly all for the kids.

As a member of the development committee, Meadors was partly responsible for reminding everyone what they were doing RDM for. Meadors says she wanted to be a part RDM because she’s had family members in and out of Riley Hospital and understands how challenging it can be.

“They (Riley Hospital) don’t turn anyone away regardless of their financial situation, so it’s a special place to me,” Meadors said.

Every dancer has their own reason for wanting to help the children at Riley, and one of the reasons Senior Brandon Baker participated in RDM was to give back to those who helped keep his little sister alive. On April 30, Brandon’s sister, Nicale Baker, was born four months premature. Due to Nicale’s prematurity, her complications after birth consisted of severely underdeveloped lungs and organ problems. Doctors told Nicale’s parents to make funeral arrangements and for the first six months of her life, Nicale stayed in the ICU unit at Riley hospital.

“Speaking from experience, the way they treat each baby and family — from the nurses and receptionists to even the employees at the McDonalds — create a nice environment of well-being and gives families the much needed hope and comfort,” Baker said.

Senior Caroline Chappell, RDM co-president, has participated in RDM since her freshman year to help the kids that aren’t as fortunate as herself and others.

“Giving an hour of my time every week is definitely worth it…,” Chappell said. “You’re doing all this work in an effort to help other people. It’s about putting the needs of others in front of your own.”

Chappell says it’s touching to hear the stories the kids tell when they go to the marathons.