Bringing Hope Home holds a Dance Marathon at RMU


Photo credit: Samantha Sektnan

Samantha Sektnan

The RMU chapter of Bringing Hope Home held their first Dance Marathon Nov. 14th from 6-12 p.m. in the John Jay Gym. BHH strives to help local families fight cancer through raising money and has a good time doing so through the events that they hold.

Entrance to the event was free with a valid freedom card and all donations for families with cancer were welcome. No sign up was necessary to attend the event and the first 75 in attendance received a free BHH Dance Marathon t-shirt.

The event began at 6 p.m. with BHH speakers introducing the event and the purpose is to raise money for Jacey who did not wish to have her last name published. She is a mother of three children and was diagnosed with stage II invasive ductal carcinoma in September 2015. The funds raised from the dance marathon will provide a light of hope for and her family. She spoke to the crowd expressing her gratitude for the help that she and her family are receiving.

Caitlin Mahon, development coordinator of Bringing Hope Home, explained the purpose of the organization.

“Bringing Hope Home is a non-profit organization that helps pay household bills for local families with a member suffering with cancer,” said Mahon. “The organization began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and it has expanded to RMU and now helps families in Pittsburgh.”

From 7-8 p.m., DJ Broken Phones played music remixes while the marathon continued on. At 7 p.m., the National Leadership Association hosted the NLA Eating Contest for all to enjoy and at 7:30 p.m., the LEGO Club Logo Presentation was held.

Greg Miaczynski, secretary of the RMU chapter of Bringing Hope Home, explained his reasoning of why he enjoys partaking in these volunteer activities.

“I like to come together with everyone to support families by raising money to ensure that they are content during these hard times,” said Miaczynski.

From 7:45-8:00 p.m., the RMU Colonial Elite competitive hip hop dance team performed their routine. The team is new to RMU, but that didn’t stop them from performing an amazing hip hop routine with tricks and impressive dancers.

The sister band Spinning Jenny performed from 8-10 p.m. The band is comprised of Julia Balzano on guitars and vocals, Angelina Balzano on bass and keys, Talia Balzano on drums, and their father John Balzano as the lead guitarist. The group performed covers of today’s and yesterday’s hits, as well as songs from their 2014 rock album Outside the Lines.

Julia Balzano is a freshman at Robert Morris University and explained her excitement with having Spinning Jenny perform at the dance marathon.

“This is our first time performing here and we are really excited to do so,” said Julia Balzano. “It’s for a great cause and we are happy to help.”

RMU student and event participant Marshall Bruce, explained his reasons for joining the RMU chapter of BHH and why he volunteers at events like this one.

“My drive is to help others, especially families suffering with cancer,” said Bruce. “When Andrew asked for my help last year with the RMU chapter of Bringing Hope Home, I was ecstatic to do so. The chapter at RMU is fairly new because it only began last spring.”

Eileen Toribio held the Almost Midnight Zumba from 11-11:45 at the event.
From 11:45-12, the raffle drawing was concluded with the announcement of the winners. The raffle baskets up for auction included gift cards to the RMU Bookstore and Kip’s Ice Cream, as well as many other items. The fundraising reveal was also held at this time, with around $2,500 raised.

Andrew Birk, president and founder of the RMU chapter of Bringing Hope Home, explained his gratitude of all who participated.

“I want to thank everyone who volunteered at this event,” said Birk. “We were able to reach our $1,500 goal to help support Jacey and her family and we will be able to help another family with the extra money we made,” said Birk

To get involved with the non-profit organization Bringing Hope Home, which provides financial and emotional support for families in the Greater Pittsburgh area struggling with cancer, like their Facebook page Bringing Hop Home at Robert Morris University or contact Birk at [email protected] for more information.