HawkThon Club raises more than $25,000 for Children’s Miracle Network


The HawkThon Club raised more than $25,000 for the Children's Miracle Network this year. Members of the executive board include Viera High students Lauren Dempsey, left, Claire Mitchell, Miriam Akram, Sydney Patterson, Dani Mordas, Kallee Holland and Daphne Furman. Taylor Conway is not pictured.



They didn’t just meet their goal.

They exceeded it … and then some.

Viera High’s HawkThon Club held its annual dance marathon in late March to culminate a year of raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network, and more specifically, Arnold Palmer Hospital and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.

When it was all said and done, the eight members of the student-run executive committee were happy to announce that instead of their goal of $20,000 (which was doubled from last year), they raised $25,258.07.

“Basically, all of our money and our year-round work goes to an amazing cause,” club president and Viera High senior Sydney Patterson said.

The executive board of the club, which included Patterson, Claire Mitchell, Lauren Dempsey, Miriam Akram, Dani Mordas, Kallee Holland, Daphne Furman and Taylor Conway worked hard throughout the year to help reach their fundraising goal.

Each member of the board had specific assignments throughout the year.

“Basically, we’re a student-run club, but we fundraise all year,” Patterson said. “We start our fundraising, basically a year before our fundraising event. Throughout the year, we fundraise through car washes, through bucket drops, through student events at school — like, we did a dodgeball tournament — stuff like that. That’s how we get to the final point.

“… The night of (the dance marathon) kind of tops it off. It’s the celebration and our last push to reach that final amount.”

The event, which is run more like a festival with games, activities and performers, drew between 30 and 50 people last year.

That number jumped considerably this year after a lot of hard work by the executive committee. There were an estimated 200 people at this year’s event, helping the group to raise $10,000 in the final week of fundraising.

“We really pushed trying to advertise to the students, getting the word out,” said Mitchell, who was the event-night coordinator. “A lot of kids, just talking with them, they don’t know what it’s about. The name ‘dance marathon’ doesn’t mean anything to them. They think we’re a dancing club or something.

“So, it was just talking to the students. We all went into classrooms and made presentations, talked to kids at lunch, just really spread the word. Everyone was like, ‘Oh, this is for a good cause,’ and they came out. I think this year, advertising helped us the most, just telling people what we’re about.”