One of the many student organizations at our University is Arcadia For The Kids, commonly called ArcadiaFTK. The club is made of committees that work to host fundraisers throughout the school year to raise money benefitting the Four Diamonds Fund. Four Diamonds is a non-profit organization based at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Their mission is to provide financial support, comprehensive care, and innovative research for children with pediatric cancer and their families. Like all of us, Four Diamonds wants to see a future where no child has to struggle with a cancer diagnosis, and are striving to make that dream a reality. ArcadiaFTK is passionate about helping Four Diamonds reach that goal. I’m really proud of the accomplishments that this team has achieved throughout the school year.
I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post featuring the activities fair about some of the fundraising efforts that ArcadiaFTK hosts throughout the school year, like our Dine and Donates and Bake Sales. We also had a number of raffle basket drawings that became popular. Our fundraising committee and team as a whole worked hard to make sure our fellow students had every opportunity to participate and support our cause. But all of that yearlong fundraising finally culminates at our main event, Dance All Knight.
Dance All Knight is our annual five hour dance marathon with lots of games, food, and of course dancing. After not getting to have our event during the online semesters we were especially excited to come back to the Great Room. We even expanded our space to include the gym. With a live DJ, one of our own Arcadia professors Adam Levy, and a full exciting night planned, it was an event people didn’t want to miss. I worked in the club as one of our Entertainment Co-Captains, meaning I helped to coordinate the activities for the event and run them during the night. My co-captain and I also developed the schedule to make sure we could fit in as much fun as possible in our five hour time frame. We wanted to make sure there was something everyone could enjoy, so in the gym we had lots of lawn games like spike ball, ladder ball, and even a giant pong set up.
In the Great Room we held all of our main activities. One of the other co-captains Caroline led an up-beat session of Zumba. I was impressed she was able to keep us all going for the full hour, I may not be a great dancer but even I had a great time following along. The Morale captain Julia kept the energy high by leading the hourly line dance with the combination she created. And we all had some great laughs with the results of our raffle to pie a leadership member in the face, Catie took the face full of shaving cream like a champ.
Even though we had a lot of fun activities, we also made sure to keep the spirit of our cause at the center of the event. We were honored to be joined by Caleb Deckman, a Penn State freshman and Four Diamonds Kid. He shared with us the story of his cancer journey, and expressed his gratitude to everyone who supports events like Dance All Knight. Because of Four Diamonds, his family was charged nothing for his cancer treatments, something that would have cost them over $400,000. Caleb has been proudly cancer-free for 14 years and we couldn’t be happier for him.
The night of Dance All Knight, and all of our efforts throughout the year, were a great success as proved by our final total reveal. Together we raised $7,485.32 for the Four Diamonds Fund, $2,000 more than our goal! We are so thankful for everyone who contributed to our efforts and made this success possible.
I’m extremely grateful for the position I had as a member of the leadership team for ArcadiaFTK. This mission is something I feel very passionately about and am determined to support in any way I can. It also became a great way to connect with my peers and many of the community members at Arcadia. I look forward to continuing this work in the next school year and hope that our event continues to grow.