It’s scary finding involvement opportunities outside of your chapter, especially because those are the women you see daily; however, I recommend getting out of your comfort zone and finding that organization that drives your passion and makes you excited to be involved. For me, that was the Dance Marathon at UF.
Dance Marathon at the University of Florida is an annual event benefiting the patients of UF Health Shands Children's Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. Each year, students stay awake and on their feet, if able, to raise money and awareness for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals for the duration of the event. In the 28 years of Dance Marathon at UF's existence, we have raised more than $26 million, making it the most successful student-run philanthropy in the southeastern United States.
Within the Dance Marathon is a community. A community of all different types of people and all different paths. What I love most about Dance Marathon is not only everyone fighting for the same cause, but also the people I have had the opportunity to meet.
There are so many Panhellenic Women who participate in Dance Marathon through Captain teams, as ELPs, as Ambassadors, and as Dancers. Being able to interact with so many Panhellenic women and all share a love for ending pediatric illness has been such a rewarding experience throughout my undergrad. It is so refreshing to know how passionate all different Panhellenic women can be.
This year, I have had the opportunity to serve as the Hospitality Overall Director for Dance Marathon at the University of Florida. I work on a team of 20 other Overall Directors as well as lead a team of 35 Hospitality Captains. I work year-round with local restaurants to coordinate monthly Hospitality fundraising nights for Dance Marathon. I also have spent a large portion of the year reaching out to large food corporations and local restaurants to coordinate donations and corporate sponsorships. My position is responsible for all food-related needs for the 26.2-hour Main Event, Miracle Gala, and all community events throughout the year. In my role I have worked to plan, solicit, and serve a continuous flow of food to all participants for the duration of the 26.2-hour Main Event.
I would not have been able to function in this position without the help of so many different Panhellenic women pushing me and inspiring me to give back to something that is bigger than myself.
Overall, one of the biggest pieces of advice I would give is to get involved in something you are passionate about and never be afraid to get to know other chapter women.
Halley Kunda and Phi Mu