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IUPUC events pay dividends to Riley


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Members of the IUPUC Dance Marathon team helped raise $8,233 last year for Riley Hospital for Children. Campus activities to raise funds included the Nov. 9 dance marathon, a campus garage sale and a ''penny war.''
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Members of the IUPUC Dance Marathon team helped raise $8,233 last year for Riley Hospital for Children. Campus activities to raise funds included the Nov. 9 dance marathon, a campus garage sale and a ''penny war.'' SUBMITTED PHOTO


IUPUC students raised $8,233 last year to benefit

Riley Hospital for Children.

The amount was up from $3,573 collected in 2011.

The funds will be evenly divided between Riley’s Child Life Program and Camp Riley.

Students planned and managed campus activities to raise funds for the kids at Riley, including a dunk tank, designated nights at local restaurants in which a percentage of sales was donated to the cause, a campus garage sale, and a “penny war” in which points were awarded or taken away based on the type of money collected (pennies, silver coins or paper currency). The winning campus office received a student-made trophy.

This year’s student-led committee included: Evin Ehrreich of Seymour, president and corporate relations chair; Emily Foust of Columbus, catering chairman; and Tracey Owens of North Vernon, operations chair.

Ehrreich and her husband, Jamie, are parents of 4-year-old Emily. The couple has personal experience with Riley services.

“After the birth of our daughter, we had several visits to the hospital,” Ehrreich said. “The programs at Riley really helped our family get started on the right footing.”

Their efforts culminated in a six-hour dance marathon Nov. 9 at Factory 12 Event Loft.

Thanks to support from IUPUC board members Rick Johnson and David Elwood, the students used the loft’s dance floor to enjoy live music by Terry Lee and the Rockaboogie band and a DJ.

Columbus parents Sandra and Brian Webber, along with daughter Adriana, joined IUPUC students to share their experience with Riley Hospital for Children. Adriana attended Camp Riley last summer, where she joined other children who are also being treated by the hospital’s specialists.

Ehrreich said programs such as Camp Riley provide kids with a sense of normalcy in their lives, which is critical in maintaining the positive mental attitude needed to overcome their challenges.

“Child life specialists visit with Riley kids to entertain, engage, and distract them — whether that is playing video games, working on arts and crafts, or just playing dress-up,” she said. “And through Camp Riley, the children get a chance to canoe, camp outside under the stars, swim, participate in art and music therapies, and more.

“These and other Riley programs give kids a chance to just be kids — despite their illnesses, disabilities, and other health challenges.”

In 1991, Indiana University student Jill Waibel organized the first-ever Riley Dance Marathon to raise money in honor of her friend, the late AIDS activist and Riley patient Ryan White. The event caught on among high school and college students across the state who are passionate about raising money for the renowned Indianapolis pediatric facility.

Those who want to get involved by donating or contributing to the 2014 IUPUC Dance Marathon should contact Ryan Wooley at rpwooley@iupuc.edu or Evin Ehrreich at evich@iupuc.edu.

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