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Meet the Marathon Team

December 4, 2018

Ever wonder how we make the Marathon magic happen? Meet the people that make sure we have it all together: the Marathon Team.

 

 

MORGAAN JESSELL, MARATHON DIRECTOR

 

What is your position in Dance Marathon 2019?

I serve as the Marathon Director which entails overseeing the production of our annual 40 hour long event in addition to working with our Family Relations team.


What is your favorite DM memory?

My favorite DM memory is when I was an Operations Coordinator in 2017 and one of the fundraising walls had come down. It was the middle of the night and the lights were off because a video was playing -- all of a sudden we just hear this huge rip sound and everyone was scrambling. I remember just jumping into action. There were people holding their phone flashlights up and using brooms that custodians brought over so we could try and hold it up. There was this moment when I was perched on the very edge of the scissor lift, 20 feet in the air, with some people holding me steady while I went crazy duct taping it to get it fixed as fast as possible. It was when I realized I loved Operations and more than that, I loved the thrill and the energy of so many people being in the same place working towards the same cause. There is no feeling that compares to being in the basement of the Civic Center with Florida State's most passionate people.


What is your goal/what do you hope to gain from DM this year?

My goal for the Marathon this year is to create a Dancer focused event that prioritizes inclusion and the celebration of everyone's efforts all year long. This includes our Dancers, Internal Members, Families, University, etc. The Marathon is this cool thing that belongs to all of us and is a time to come together and really celebrate being a part of something magical. In terms of event details, we have a lot of cool and new things coming. Returners can expect the Marathon itself to look a little different, new entertainment, better incentives for Dancers, and overall, a more integrated and enhanced experience for our participants.


Give us an insight into your ultimate dream event.

My dream event would have attention to detail comparable to Disney, a performance lineup that rivaled Coachella, and an endless supply of Chick-fil-A nuggets. Realistically, my dream for this marathon WILL definitely pay more attention to detail and some brand new entertainment - stay tuned on the Chick-fil-A, but rest assured that our Hospitality Team already has an insane menu set for our hungry dancers!

 

 

 

ANNE FRAPPIER, FAMILY RELATIONS CHAIR

 

What is your position in Dance Marathon 2019?

I am the Family Relations Chair for DM 2019. My role is to make the families feel included year round by planning activities focused specifically towards them as well as developing relationships between the families and members of the Dance Marathon at FSU community.


What is your favorite DM memory?

Picking my favorite memory from DM is incredibly difficult because the most impactful ones have different meanings in my heart. It might be difficult because I am a horrible decision maker, but I will pick a memory from DM 2018. I was a Family Relations Coordinator and had grown close to Powie, Aubrey, Eli, and the beautiful Kristen Patterson. The time was growing closer to reveal and as we were lining the families up to go onto the stage for reveal Kristen leaned into me and asked if I would go on stage with Powie because she was not feeling well. The music started playing and I walked on stage with Aubrey and Powie holding both of my hands and Eli holding Powie’s hand. As Exec started to raise the numbers, Powie scooted onto my lap and I wrapped my arms around the rest of the Patterson kids. Like everyone else, I felt an overwhelming feeling of emotion rush over me as we waited for management to raise the final amount. Once they raised the numbers to reveal that we had raised $2.1 MILLION I started to cry and hug the three Pattersons around me. Powie pushed away from our hug and looked at me with a huge smile on her face. With the most loving voice, she said, “why are you crying Anne… do you know how many kids, like me, are going to be better now”. Of course that just made me sob even more, but her words honestly reevaluated the feeling that I am truly making an impact within the lives of others. My heart is forever fully happy because of my friendships with those Patterson kids.


What is your goal/what do you hope to gain from DM this year?

My overall goal is to provide the same year-long experience for the families that DM at FSU provides for its dancers. I want to be as present with the families that I feel like I am a part of every single one of their own family. Creating relationships and experiences is a huge part of my life and I want to continue it this year with Dance Marathon at Florida State!

 

If you could be a member of any TV family, which would it be?

There are so many I could choose from and it depends on how dysfunctional I would want my family to be! I think there would be several ties between the Baker family from Cheaper by the Dozen, Mitch and Cam from Modern Family, and the Millers from We’re the Millers. On top of those there are probably many more, but these are the most “functional” families I can think of I would want to be a part of!

 

 

 

AUDREY MCKINNEY, MARATHON EVENTS CHAIR 

 

What is your position in Dance Marathon 2019?

My team and I are in charge of planning the entertainment for the Marathon. Basically, we're here to make sure everyone has fun. We do all of the main stage entertainment like Silent Disco, dance groups, hypnotists, and Rave Hours, as well as the other smaller aspects that go on throughout the Marathon, such as board games, coloring, and inflatables.


What is your favorite DM memory?

My favorite memory with DM so far was the Marathon last year. I was on the Marathon Events team as a Coordinator, and it was really cool to see all of our hard work come together into a great Marathon. All of the hours spent planning were worth it to see our Dancers and Miracle Families enjoying themselves and celebrating all of the Miracles we made throughout the year!


What is your goal/what do you hope to gain from DM this year?

My overall goal this year is to make this the best Marathon yet. We're working really hard to come up with new and exciting entertainment that the Dancers will enjoy and to make this Marathon unique from any of the ones we have had in the past. For me, my first Marathon as a dancer was an amazing experience because I got to fall in love even more with our incredible cause. I want to be able to give that experience to every Dancer who attends our Marathon this year.

 

If you could have someone (anyone) choose what you do for a day, who would it be and why?

If I had to pick anyone, it would definitely be Taylor Swift. Anyone who knows me knows that she is my absolute favorite person.

 

 

 

 MIA ISMAILI, HOSPITALITY CHAIR

 

What is your position in Dance Marathon 2019?

My role for Dance Marathon 2019 is to supply the food for the marathon and any external events, as well as set up share it events. This entails contacting local restaurants and trying to obtain as many donations as possible. My coordinators and I send emails, make phone calls and sign as many contracts as we can.


What is your favorite DM memory?

My favorite DM memory is reveal at the marathon last year. It was my first time being on the internal team and it was an indescribable moment when the executive board held up 2.1 million dollars.


What is your goal/what do you hope to gain from DM this year?

My goal is to improve the hospitality section from years in the past. We have been working hard to bring a lot of different things to the marathon this year and I cant wait for all of our dancers to experience it!


Which Food Network chef would you hire for the Marathon?

Definitely Bobby Flay, he's a legend.

 

 

 

 

ALEXANDRIA ISAIS, OPERATIONS CHAIR

 

What is your position in Dance Marathon 2019?

I serve as the Operations Chair for Dance Marathon at FSU 2019 and I like to tell people that it’s all about making the Marathon Experience. Operations encompasses a lot: refilling water stations, securing the barricades, and taking out the trash to name a few. But above all of that, Operations is about making the Marathon an enjoyable, inclusive, safe, family friendly environment for our dancers, volunteers, internal teams, and guests. 


What is your favorite DM memory?

My favorite DM memory is definitely 2017 Statement reveal. I wasn’t expecting them to hold up the number $302,535.34, so when I saw that number, I started sobbing. Seeing some of the exec members reactions was so heartwarming, and I was so overwhelmed with emotion that day. We had all put our hearts and souls into fundraising and showing everyone what DM was all about, and it really showed in those numbers. I truly felt like I was all in at that point. 


What is your goal/what do you hope to gain from DM this year?

I have a number of goals with DM, obviously my personal fundraising goal of $2,400, and goals for my team as well. I really want the phrase “Dancer Experience” to turn into “Marathon Experience”. It’s not just our dancers who experience the marathon, but every single person. From dancers, internal members, VIPs, families, guests, security, performers, and food delivery, anyone who enters the doors of our marathon should have that wholesome Marathon Experience. 

 

If you could host Dance Marathon at any location, where would you have it and why?

I love having our Marathon in the basement of the Civic Center, so thinking of other locations in Tallahassee to host a marathon is tricky. I guess it could be fun to have a Marathon in the circus tent, plus they already have lights and a sound system.

Mark your calendars for March 1st to March 3rd for Dance Marathon 2019. For more Marathon information, keep an eye out on DM FSU social media platforms!

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