BUDM Breaks Record

Posted on 26. Feb, 2015 by in Campus Events, Volunteer/Service



Butler University Dance Marathon set an all-time high fundraising total of $261,032.50 for Riley Hospital for Children. It also marked BUDM’s millionth dollar raised since its founding on campus. That is enough to keep everyone dancing even after being on their feet for 12 hours! After the reveal, Tabitha Webster stated, “With this being my last BUDM as a student, I was extremely nervous to see the total. The exec committee had set a goal of $250,000 that everyone wanted to reach and honestly was scared that we weren’t going to reach it. But when the total was revealed, it was the best feeling in the world. Seeing that number made me feel so proud and honored to be involved with BUDM.”

BUDM is a student-run organization that dedicates their entire year to plan this event and raise money for Riley Hospital for Children. It is a 12-hour event where participants stand the entire time to honor children at Riley who cannot stand. Throughout the event, students participate in fun activities, dance, and interact with Riley kids and families. Riley families and doctors are invited to speak about their inspiring stories to emphasize the importance of every dollar raised.

Lauren Karmire, the Riley Relations Co-Chair, gave her reason for dancing. “I dance for Audrey Spegal. Our families have lived 30 seconds apart for my entire life, so losing her at age 4 to a rare genetic condition took a toll on us. Coming to Butler I immediately signed up for BUDM as a committee member. Audrey loved dancing, so this was the perfect way to honor her. Being a member of the executive board for the past 3 years has been one of the highlights of my college career where I’ve gotten to surround myself with the most giving, genuine people and keep Audrey’s spirit alive. I couldn’t help but sob as I held the comma onstage when we surpassed our goal. Knowing that we’re helping to find cures for children like Audrey makes the sore legs, sweat, and hard work worth every second.”

Megan Yates, the entertainment co-chair of BUDM, shared her personal story for why she got involved. “My twin brother Matthew has Autism and was diagnosed at a very young age before we started attending elementary school. Ever since his diagnosis, Matthew regularly goes to the Christian Sarkine Autism Center at Riley Hospital for Children for annual checkups. The next encounter I had with Riley Hospital for Children was with my older sister, Hannah. In 2009, right before my sister started her senior year of high school, she was diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) which is a disease that causes one’s kidneys to begin to shut down. My sister was taken to Riley for further treatment. Hannah spent 24 days at Riley before being released. Riley helped heal my sister when odds were against her. My family has been through a lot and has spent a lot of time at Riley Hospital for Children. For this I am very thankful. Riley gave my family hope in a number of ways to move forward with life and to feel empowered by the outcomes of our experiences there. Riley Hospital has saved both of my siblings and for that I will always be eternally grateful.”

It is obvious that much time and planning went into putting together this event and making it flow smoothly. Activities like Zumba, limbo, hula-hoop competitions, and even a short concert from the rising country musician Clayton Anderson fueled the students’ eagerness to continue to elicit support. However, the real driving force behind this movement is the students’ passion to serve a cause greater than themselves. Furthermore, all this work does not go unnoticed or unrewarded. With each success story presented on stage from Riley families and children, students saw firsthand what their efforts were supporting. The families could not express enough thanks for the students’ work as they gave uplifting messages, illustrating Riley Hospital’s dedication to helping them overcome their previous challenges.

Rithvi Melanta, the Co-President of BUDM, recounted her favorite part of the day. “My favorite part of the day was the last hour of the marathon. We heard from Sarah Michelle Cohen’s family about how Sarah was an inspiration to BUDM and how our marathon started. All of us dancers just embrace the last hour together and think about the fact that we stood 12 hours straight all for the kids at Riley Hospital. The best part of that hour is the big reveal. This is my favorite because our executive board has been anxiously waiting all year to see how much money we raised. This year especially was a breaking-point  year because our total of $261,032.50 helped surpass the million dollar mark overall for BUDM. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better executive board, and I’m so happy to have had my eighth and last dance marathon with them!”



For a recap of the day, watch this video!


See Dawg Dish’s collection of pictures here!


Article and photos by Cole Smith

Cole Smith

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About Cole

COLE SMITH is currently in his fifth year as a pharmacy major/ business minor. A quote from the Understatement Society notes Cole as, “A cool guy.” Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Cole is an outstanding leader, and an even better person.” Besides living up to both of those quotes, Cole is president of the Butler cycling team, Honors Program member, Dawg Dish Photographer, student government representative, and part of the DAWG Pound cheer block #GoDawgs. He is also a huge Twitter advocate #TweetAtMe. During his free time he loves meeting new people, stargazing, being a tourist, and looking at pictures of cute puppies #Uncanny. Cole credits his Butler experience for having a huge impact on his character and leadership development, and he makes every effort to display Butler in a positive light through photography. President James Danko and VP for Student Affairs Levester Johnson both stated that they would cry at Cole’s graduation, but they know that he will go on to do great things.

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