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Meet the External Team

Between executing non-Marathon events, managing publicity and technology, and securing business partners, there's not much this branch doesn't do; meet the powerhouses behind all things External.


What is your position in Dance Marathon 2019?

I have the distinct pleasure of serving as the External Director for Dance Marathon at FSU. In this position, I oversee the Partnership, Marketing and Publicity, Technology, and External Events teams to ensure that our cause is properly showcased to the external community. I have the opportunity to help those under the External Branch get the tools they need to succeed in their roles. What is your favorite DM memory?

My favorite DM memory is from Statement reveal this year. After 26.2 of the most magical hours watching participants pour their hearts into our largest out-of-event fundraising push, I stood alongside my fellow Executive Board members, Delegates, and top fundraisers to reveal how much we had raised. Nerves flooded me as I looked out into the crowd of dedicated individuals. In that moment, all I thought of was how blessed I was to be a part of such an impactful cause that rallied community members together for Marshal and all of our miracle kids. When we revealed that we had raised $364,815.46, so many emotions escaped me: shock, excitement, love, and so much more. Hugs were coming from everywhere around me and I welcomed them with open arms. The best moment was seeing Kristen Patterson, Powie's mom, Christina Buth, Caden's mom, and Betsy Fisher, Marshal's mom at the bottom of the stairs. Kristen and I made eye contact and ran to each other in the biggest bear hug, so big that I knocked her earring off. This is who we do it for. This is why we spend our college career planning the best Marathon yet. For these Miracle Families that I've gotten the biggest blessing of getting to know. They are so genuine and so special in so many ways. It's for them. Always.

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

My goal for this year is to engage and connect with our Dancers in everything the External Branch does. Whether it be creating videos that they want to see or making events they would enjoy going to, I want to help facilitate this team with the resources they need to make the external members happy. Keeping the Dancers in mind as we continue this year will help lead the External Branch to new heights. Engaging new Dancers and reengaging past ones in our 'why' will be what makes this year the best one yet.

What do you think is the best way to engage the external community?

Dance Marathon at FSU is known for its engaging social media presence, exciting videos, fun events, and generous partners. But I think the biggest way an external member will feel connected to this cause is by stewarding them. Our Dancers and Fundraisers are key members in our Dance Marathon community. They deserve to be showered with love for making a difference in this world. External and Internal members alike should be lifting each other up and supporting each other. Whether you raise $300 or $3000 for this cause, this organization has been changed for the better because of you. Stewarding those fundraisers and constantly supporting them is the best way to engage them in our cause.


What is your position in Dance Marathon 2019?

My role in Dance Marathon 2019 is serving on the Executive Board as the External Events Chair. In this role, I am responsible for the planning and execution of all of the events leading up to the Marathon in March, including Miracle Week, Rally Week, and FTKolor.

What is your favorite DM memory?

My favorite DM memory is the emotion and excitement of my first total reveal during my freshman year, where I realized the magnitude of what this movement is.

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

I have already gained so much from this experience, including learning many lessons, developing a stronger sense of self and growing a deeper passion for the cause. My goal for this movement is to continue to grow personally, as well as help the organization grow.

Besides the Marathon itself, which Dance Marathon event is most significant to you and why?

Statement would have to be the most significant. No other event compares to the energy, challenge and emotion that is felt on statement day. Being able to come together as not only an organization, but as a campus and community For The Kids is incredible.


What is your position in Dance Marathon 2019?

I am the Partnership Chair! My role is to connect businesses locally, regionally, and nationally to our cause. This ranges from local apartment complexes to large corporations. I lead a “tiny but mighty” team and together, we work hard to get monetary and in-kind donations. In simple terms, we get some big checks FTK. A lot of what I do goes on behind the scenes due to the nature of my role. In order to get monetary and in-kind donations towards our cause, I use marketing tactics and techniques to ensure we get great sponsors. Just about everything from Theme Hours to our Gong can be sponsored. Dance Marathon at FSU is a 2.1 million dollar “business” and that’s something I take pride in when approaching sponsors at meetings. My favorite part about my position is that not only do I get to volunteer for the cause I love, but I’m also able to gain a lot of experience from this role as well! Other than managing my team and fulfilling executive duties, you’ll see me sending emails, making phone calls, and working on contracts. It’s way more fun than Morale, I swear!

What is your favorite DM memory?

This is always a hard question simply because I have so many fond memories from DM. The big obvious ones have to be every total reveal from high schools to Statement and Marathon; who doesn’t love a good reveal? But, all of my moments with the kids and their families are my absolute favorites! One memory I’ll share happened this past summer at Miracles on Madison. This was a block party coordinated by Shands on Madison Street. Since Daniela, our Recruitment Chair, and I were in town for classes all summer, we attended the event. Needless to say it was definitely one of my favorites from this past year. We got to do a “Miracles on Madison” takeover on social media to document the night for everyone out of town to see. Most importantly, we got to hangout all night with our Miracle Kids and their families that stopped by. The block party had food, blackjack tables, and a concert. We spent our time losing at giant jenga and corn hole with Riley, Powie, their families, and more. It was a great way to spend time with our incredible Miracle Families and to kick off the summer! Memories like that one is why many of us pour our hearts into this cause. Although some may think we just fundraise, this organization is so much more than that. Dance Marathon gives me an outlet to be selfless and to do something meaningful every single day. DM will always be my favorite part and memory from my time at Florida State.

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

My biggest goal for DM this year has to remain a secret, but let’s just say it’s a milestone for the partnership program that I’m so excited to announce come Marathon! A few other goals I have is to hit my personal fundraising goal of $2400, and to see my entire team hit Comma Club. Lastly, I hope to just soak in my last moments with DM as an undergrad. This cause is so special and sometimes we get so caught up in the details that we forget to really sit back and enjoy our all of our hard work and moments together.

If you were a celebrity, what one item or company would you want to sponsor you and why?

I don’t think I’d ever want to be a celebrity, but if I were, I hope I'd be some iconic CEO or athlete. If I had to choose one company from my lengthy “intend to contact” list I’d have to say Lululemon! I already spend the little money I have on Lulu so it would really help if they could sponsor me instead. but I guess if I were a rich celebrity it wouldn’t really matter? Jokes aside, I appreciate the meaning behind their brand and I think it’s something that would work well with DM at FSU, imagine having a “yoga power hour sponsored by Lululemon” at the Marathon! They really are on my contact list and I’m hoping I can connect with the local store for this year.


What is your position in Dance Marathon 2019?

This year, I have had the opportunity to serve as the Marketing and Publicity Chair for DM 2019. As the Marketing and Publicity Chair, I have been given me the responsibility to oversee DM at FSU's social media, graphics, and public relations. My team is responsible for serving as the liaison between our organization and the local Tallahassee and FSU community. We strive to engage our community through our marketing efforts.

What is your favorite DM memory?

If I had to choose one specific DM memory, it would have to be performing the 2018 Line Dance at University of Florida's Dance Marathon last March. It's my favorite memory because this was the chance we got to perform like it was our last time and go ALL OUT! I was standing next to Rob, our current Morale chair, and he stole the show. It was amazing seeing the UF students clap and shout as we performed. If you ask me, our 2018 Line Dance was the best one, but I could be a little bit biased.

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

My goal for DM at FSU 2019 is to have total engagement within our internal and external community. It would be amazing to witness our marketing campaigns be so successful that our external community is able to feel so connected that they in turn have the opportunity to bring more students into our cause.

If you could only use one social media platform, what would it be and why?

Oh, this is kind of tough. I think I would have to say Instagram. With Instagram, you get the best of both worlds--posting pictures on your feed, but also developing a story. It is like Snapchat stories, but better. I love how creative you can be with your posts, and I live for captions that have a pun. I enjoy seeing the aesthetically pleasing feeds that some of my talented friends have. I definitely would live with just Instagram for the rest of my life!


What is your position in Dance Marathon 2019?

As the Technology Chair, I am responsible for overseeing all multimedia production within our organization. From photos to video, my team and I are in charge of capturing the year as it happens. I, along with my IT Captain, are also responsible for managing and editing our website (yes the very site you are reading this blog post on!).

What is your favorite DM memory?

My favorite DM memory was walking into my first Marathon in 2016. It was beautiful to see so many people passionate about the same cause. It is what inspired me to apply to be a Captain the next year.

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

This year, I want to continue building upon the legacy that DMFSU's previous Tech Chairs have created. Dance Marathon at Florida State University is well known for having some of the most unique multimedia content out of all the Children's Miracle Network Dance Marathon programs. One of the key elements that we focus on while taking photos and making videos is the storytelling. We are telling the story of our cause while encouraging those viewing to be a part of our growing community of Miracle Makers. It is through our multimedia that those outside of the Dance Marathon community know of our passion For The Kids at Shands and in Gadsden County. My team and I have plenty of new ideas for videos that we're excited to share in the future!

In your opinion, what photo have you taken that best captures the essence of Dance Marathon?

The one photo I have taken that best captures the essence of Dance Marathon at Florida State University is a photo of the Irwin Family from last year's Marathon. During our Circle of Hope ceremony near the end of the 40 hours, the Irwins shared their Miracle Story alongside their doctor, and Dr. Scott Rivkees, a child health researcher at UF Health. While sharing details about CMN and their contribution to children's health, Dr. Rivkees shares a fun memory about the Irwin's Miracle Child, Grayson, which causes the family and everyone in the room to laugh together. The photo captures a family happy together, and you would have never thought that just months ago, Grayson was fighting for his life in the hospital. It shows that the passion of thousands of students coming together does save lives and that this passion for helping kids will never go out.


Interested in getting more engaged with our External Team's efforts? Be sure to follow DM FSU social media pages to stay up to date on current campaigns, events, and content!

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