Sisters planning dance marathon at WKU

Zirconia Alleyne

Two WKU sisters want WKU to get ready to dance.

Louisville senior Alex Kimura and her freshman sister Sam Kimura are planning the RAGE dance marathon to raise money for the pediatric cancer unit at Kosair Children’s Hospital Outpatient Center in Bowling Green.

After spearheading several non-profit charity events on campus, such as Feel Good and a bone marrow drive, Alex hopes that the dance marathon — set for February — will be even bigger.

“We want every WKU student to be there and get involved,” Alex said.

Alex’s sister, Sam, has been passionate about helping sick children ever since she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare condition where bone marrow doesn’t produce enough red blood cells.

“The sickness that I went through made us even stronger and willing to help out other people,” Sam said.

When she attended DanceBlue, a 12-hour dance marathon at the University of Kentucky, she said it inspired her to host a similar event at her high school.

She organized a six-hour marathon at Louisville Ballard High School before she graduated.  Eighty people participated and the event raised $18,000 to benefit the Golden Matrix Fund at the UK Pediatric Oncology Clinic.

Now in college, Sam wanted to start an annual dance marathon at WKU.

“It’s not only a great way to raise money, but it’s a really cool event that other schools host as well,” Sam said. “It’s time Western has one.”

So far, the sisters have been spreading the word to friends and businesses, but want to reach out to more students and campus organizations to get on board as well.

Teams can register for $5 per person, with a minimum of 10 members. Every hour of the marathon will have a different theme or performer to keep participants moving.

“We’ll have local bands, speakers and dance teams perform,” Alex said. “We just want to pack up Diddle Arena.”

Rochester, Mich., senior Kaylee Egerer, RAGE co-chair, said she’s excited to get the community involved.

“It’s going to be huge, because it reaches out to so many different interest groups,” Egerer said. “Just thinking about what the cause is for is rewarding.”

Students who are interested in helping to plan the event can join various committees, such as entertainment, logistics, hospitality, marketing, fundraising and a dance chair.

The committees meet every Thursday to prepare for the main event, which is scheduled to start at noon and end at midnight Feb. 11, 2012 in Diddle Arena.

“It’s a big undertaking to start from square one,” Sam said. “We need a lot of help.”

The RAGE website is coming soon, and tables will be set-up on campus for pre-registration. People can follow the group on Twitter @RAGEDanceThon for more information.

Sam said she doesn’t want this to be the only year RAGE happens and plans to take over after her sister graduates.

“I just want it to last for many years to come and be well-known like other colleges,” she said. “I want it to be a campus-wide event that people look forward to every year.”