Fordham’s FDM Hosts Annual Dance Marathon


Fordham has its annual Dance Marathon. (Courtesy of Pia Fischetti/The Fordham Ram)

Fordham Dance Marathon (FDM) raised approximately $116,564 in support of the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation at their main fundraising event, the dance marathon, on April 2.
While it was announced at the event that FDM raised $115,822.83, according to Sarah Goldstein, FCRH ’23, co-executive director of FDM, a few donations came in after the event.

This event serves as a conclusion to FDM’s year-long fundraising efforts for the B+ Foundation, an organization that raises money for pediatric cancer research. FDM works specifically with families of children battling cancer in the New York City area; the children that the club works with are known as the “B+ heroes.” The club members work on both a year-long fundraising campaign to raise money to support these children and their families as well as develop relationships with them.

According to Goldstein, this year’s campaign was the “second-highest-grossing” in the club’s eight years of existence.

“We’re just so, so grateful of every single person who donated, whether they donated 50 cents or $100. Because of them, we were able to help 115 families. We donate $1,000 per family. A lot of what we raise goes to families that live in the New York City area or the Bronx, so we’re making a direct impact,” said Goldstein.

FDM’s main event lasted for 11 hours, from 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. Each hour of the event was dedicated to a certain theme. For example, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., the club dedicated the hour as the “B+ Hero Hour” where some of the B+ heroes could Zoom into the event and engage with the audience. The event ended with the “rave” portion of the night, lasting from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

In this “rave” period, FDM put on their concert, featuring musical guest Leyla Blue. Blue is a celebrated pop artist, who is best known for her song “What A Shame,” which gained fame on the social media app, TikTok.

“Not to discredit any of the concerts we’ve had in the past at FDM, but our concert artist this year blew us away,” said Goldstein. “At the end, [Blue] stayed at the event and went around and took pictures with everyone, and she took pictures of our committee. That is nothing required of her in her contract, she did that all on her own volition. Her interacting with us was just so amazing.”

According to Goldstein, Blue even posted about FDM on her own social media accounts, which gave the fundraising efforts some international exposure and attention.

Despite Blue’s performance, for Goldstein, the most impactful and important part of FDM is the interaction with the B+ heroes.

“Being able to interact with the kids is honestly some of the most beneficial parts. If we raised $100 but we got to make one kid who is fighting for their life have a better day, that’s really what matters. I’m so grateful for that opportunity,” said Goldstein.

Goldstein said that COVID-19 has complicated the club’s ability to interact with the B+ heroes. However, Goldstein explained that throughout the pandemic, and even now, FDM’s committee members were able to maintain relationships with the heroes through zoom meetings. She also said that this year, the club members were able to begin connecting with the heroes in-person again.
“We’ve taken a few trips down to Washington Square Park to meet up with them, and then a little further north, we attended a few birthday parties for some of our B+ heroes,” said Goldstein.

Additionally, this year marks the first time that FDM has been able to function fully in person. Last year, the event adopted a hybrid format. FDM hosted a day full of events but then put on the concert and the announcement of the total sum of donations virtually. According to Goldstein, being able to host events fully in person again lifted the committee’s morale and inspired them to have a “great” fundraising year.

Goldstein also noted the efforts of the Fordham community in fundraising throughout the year. She noted that while the committee is extremely proud of its fundraising efforts, the Fordham community is what makes FDM special.

“I was blown away by the support from the Fordham community on World Cancer day this past year. Fordham was the number one fundraiser for the B+ Foundation for pediatric cancer. On World Cancer Day we raised over $30,000 in one day for pediatric Cancer,” said Goldstein.

According to Goldstein, FDM’s efforts have been large enough to sponsor a pediatric cancer research grant currently happening at Case Western Reserve University. Goldstein noted that FDM has grown a lot in the past few years, and it looks forward to continuing this trajectory in the coming years.