I dropped Zach off last night at his school’s Marathon Dance. The dance last for 27 hours and is the brain child of one of the teacher’s at Deep Run, Kathleen Kern. She and her husband work tirelessly with a committee of 40 kids to make this event go off without a hitch. Each of the dancers has to raise at least $100 to go toward local charities with most kids raising above the $100 minimum. This morning I had the pleasure of chaperoning 650 high school kids. I say pleasure with the utmost seriousness. The kids were tired but in good spirits. They were delightful, even Zach who was beyond exhausted but still able to communicate somewhat pleasantly with me.

These young adults amazed me this morning. They have been pushed and challenged more in the last 24 hours than most have probably ever known. I don’t know about your kiddos but mine lead a pretty cush life. They are fortunate and they know it. They express appreciation often and we talk about those who are less fortunate but they have never been held to a physical challenge of this magnitude. I remember when my kids were little, I would go tuck them in at night and my heart would ache for those kids who didn’t have a bed to sleep in or parents to read them bedtime stories and tuck them in. Lucas was admitted to the hospital when he was four for toxic synovitis (a scary sounding name of a rather mild virus in the synovial fluids) and I remember being in the children’s hospital thinking about the other children whose diseases were not so mild. Kids who have diseases with treatment after treatment after treatment, or the kids who have no cure. These are the kids who are physically challenged from a young age. The kids who entered the dance became young adults in my eyes this morning. The money they are raising through their physical challenge is being put toward those charities aimed at helping people who won’t be escaping their challenges when they walk out the doors of their school after finishing the Marathon Dance. I am proud of what these kids, turned young adults, are working toward. Last year they raised over $137,000. This year, after five years of Marathon Dancing, they will have raised over $500,000 for charities in our community. I am amazed.

I couldn’t be happier Zach decided to participate in this event. I hope he continues to practice philanthropy. I hope he stays involved in the Marathon Dance for years to come. I hope each and every one of the young adults who danced for 27 hours to benefit others are completely blown away tonight when the fundraising total is announced. They deserve to be blown away. I am totally in awe of their chipper attitudes this morning. They have earned my respect and their compassion is evident. They are dancing ~ for the love of others…

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