ChapTHON hosts end-of-year fundraising event



Attendees of ChapTHON’s game night join the circle of hope at the end of the event in the Chap Court at 8 p.m. March 25. The circle of hope is a Dance Marathon tradition in which attendees reflect on their impact.

On March 25, ChapTHON, a student-led fundraising club for Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, hosted a game night from 6-8 p.m. in the Chap Court as their annual Dance Marathon event. Founder senior Sarah Wang formed the club sophomore year after hearing about the Miracle Network Dance Marathon team, a program of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals that raises funds for children’s hospitals across the U.S. and Canada.

“The broader vision is to raise money for Dell Children’s to provide an equally vibrant life for people and kids,” Sarah said. “The mission that I’ve wanted to foster inside of it is making a place where everyone feels motivated to use their skills and knowledge to help a bigger team.  I feel like whatever field you work in, you have to work in a group and take everyone’s skills into consideration. That was something I hadn’t worked on much, but I thought that made the output more valuable.”

The Dance Marathon is the biggest fundraising event and takes place around the end of the school year. Due to COVID-19, this was the first year ChapTHON hosted the event in person.

“That kind of scared me this year,” Sarah said. “We wanted to rebrand it to a game night so that more people could understand what they were coming in for, and we thought it would be more enticing. [Co-founder senior Ella Seidel] and I are both part of puzzle club, and we find that super fun. Wordle has been popular recently. We thought that was a cool way to bring everyone together and make it an enjoyable event.”

The Game Night consisted of two main events: a Wordle tournament and Jeopardy. Winners earned tickets for the raffle, where everyone had the chance to win prizes like an Amy’s Ice Creams gift card or a succulent. The organization started planning the event in February with club members reaching out to companies for in-kind donations of gift cards and designing a poster. 

“The event was really enjoyable, as I got to talk with a lot of my friends and play some frustrating but fun games, such as the Wordle race and Hangman,” senior Flynn Goel said. “My favorite part was the Jeopardy competition between essentially everybody who was there. My team wasn’t able to win, but I loved being able to put my knowledge of totally useless facts to good use.”

In the end, the turnout was 60 people. The coordinators revealed the total fundraising sum from the year to be $1,199, which doesn’t yet include the proceeds from the hot chocolate fundraiser in December. According to Sarah, hosting game night was a unique take to this fundraising event, and she looks towards its impact

“One of the best parts was having a circle of hope at the end,” Sarah said. “For two hours, the Chap Court was chaotic with groups bowling, chipping away at the 1000-piece puzzle, running around, playing Wordle and Jeopardy, but at the end, we held circle of hope, which is this tradition at the end of Dance Marathons to remind everyone of their lasting impact on kids at Dell Children’s by attending. To see everyone suddenly calm down, gather in a circle and recognize that their money would be going towards advancing the newest facilities at Dell Children’s was gratifying. It was the moment I saw that we pulled off a genuinely enjoyable event that was ultimately cause-connected.”