Sixth annual IonaTHON raises over $16,000

Stacey Franciamore, Managing Editor

Students from various clubs and organizations helped raise $16,880 at the sixth annual IonaTHON event in support of the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in the Mulcahy Gymnasium on Jan. 25.

With a mission of helping those in need, IonaTHON raised funds and awareness through a dance marathon for children who are suffering from prolonged cancer, illness and injury.

“Raising money is the main goal of the IonaTHON but there is more to it,” Morale Dance Captain Megan Fisher said. “Another important goal is awareness of the hospital and the children that are patients there. The work that is done at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital saves so many lives it is important that more people know about what they do.”

IonaTHON reflects Iona’s goal of giving back and offers students an opportunity to get involved in service.

“Iona has always been really big into giving back to the community,” Fisher said. “The IonaTHON is one way a lot of students tend to give back. It gets the students invested because we are helping a local children’s hospital.”

Many students feel the impact of IonaTHON on their time at Iona.

“IonaTHON means a great deal to me,” Fundraising and Recruitment Chairperson Delia Fernandez said. “As a fourth time participant and my third year on the committee, IonaTHON has played a major role in my college experience.”

Organizing the event requires time and effort and can create a lot of pressure, but Fernandez emphasized that it was all worthwhile.

“My favorite part of IonaTHON is when the families attend and share their stories,” Fernandez said. “It puts a face to the cause and reminds me, among the stressful moments of event planning, that it is all worth it.”

Families from the hospital gave volunteers a greater understanding of the importance of IonaTHON.

“Many children continue to fight their own battles today at Maria Fareri’s, but they need our help,” Fernandez said. “This money will contribute towards their fight and enhance the parts of the hospital that they live out their daily lives.”

IonaTHON hopes to grow its chapter in the future and continue raising money for this cause.