Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan kicked off our Halloween celebrations on campus on Sunday, October 23 with our annual Pumpkin Carving event. This event gave dancers the opportunity to meet their DMUM families, teams and DMUM therapists in a fun and interactive environment. Activities like bike riding, crafts, lawn games, and pumpkin carving allowed the DMUM community to see their individual impact on the therapies they fundraise for.
This year Dance Marathon decided to take a different approach to the event and combine Pumpkin Carving with Therapy Fair. The goal was to combine Pumpkin Carving’s popularity with the the opportunity for dancers to be exposed to the therapies of Therapy Fair. The therapies were able to plan activities such as bike races, pumpkin decorating, and yoga to demonstrate some of the methods they incorporate into their programs. These activities were geared towards both students and families in order to make the whole day a fun and captivating occasion!
One Dance Marathon team created their own Pumpkin Carving experience, when a pickup game of football started with their new friend Tommy. The spontaneous football game was started by Tommy and his father and entertained dozens of dancers beyond the end of the event. Dancer captain of the Pi Kappa Phi chapter team, Jared Kirschenbaum, said he was “thrilled to add some physical activity to the event after carving their pumpkin and help Tommy take on the role of player, coach, and referee during the game.” It allowed the team to bond with their family and with other dancers through Tommy’s favorite activity!
Pumpkin Carving created many lasting dancer and family relationships and kick started DMUM’s 20th year as the best one yet! Jared along with his team say that they are “thrilled to be able to spend the rest of the year not only fundraising for Tommy, but also spending time and bonding with him.” Hundreds of other dancers like Jared had a great time getting to know their families and can not wait to watch their new relationships grow throughout the year!