Winnetka, Community

Winnetka 36 dance marathon sets new standard by raising $84,000 for children’s hospital

This year’s comeback of the Winnetka Public Schools’ dance marathon was twice as nice.

After pausing the event in 2021 and 2022, students brought it back this year and doubled the amount raised for Lurie Children’s Hospital with the March 3 event.

The students collected nearly $85,000 for the hospital.

A group of Winnetka students enjoy the dance marathon on March 3 in Winnetka.

“I am so proud of the time, effort, thought and heart that our community poured into this event,” D36 Superintendent Dr. Kelly Tess said in an email to The Record. “The parents and teachers who led the volunteer efforts modeled our district’s vision of ‘making a meaningful difference in the world’ to our students.'”

The district’s dance marathon began in 2019 and returned the following year before the two-year pause. In 2020, the event raised approximately $42,000.

The event challenges students in The Skokie School (Grades 5-6) and Carleton Washburne Junior High (Grades 7-8) to raise funds through individual outreach and a series of events leading up to the dance marathon.

Winnetka’s Gina Gooden was one of the parent organizers said student committees would meet each week to map out the fundraising events, such as a coin war — for which students would bring handfuls of change to their schools — that raised $8,000 all by itself.

“A bulk of the ideas came from this group of amazing young people,” she said.

The dance marathon featured plenty of help from district staffers and parents.

It all led to the dance marathon on March 3, when students enjoyed a series of activities including dancing, playing basketball, competing for raffle prizes and, the highlight, pieing their teachers. The students also made blankets and coloring books for the patients of Lurie Children’s Hospital.

“I am astounded by the number ($84,000). I don’t understand how we raised that much money to be honest,” Gooden said, adding, “This really goes out to the kids. They just really got into it.”

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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