Superdance for Cystic Fibrosis
39th Annual Superdance
Lights, Camera, Cure!
Mar. 15, 2014
12 noon - midnight
On Feb. 19, the auditorium was transformed into a glitzy Hollywood awards ceremony to officially kick-off the 2014 Superdance preparations. Students learned more about the 39-year tradition of the 12-hour dance marathon to support the efforts of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, through a student-run assembly that included music, dance, skits and games. Special guest speakers included Mr. Richard Martin, who shared the history of Superdance, and alumni Jason Cage ('95) and Danny Bessette ('02), who shared their very personal struggles with Cystic Fibrosis and their appreciation for the O'Connell community. Twelve-year old Yasmine returned for her fourth assembly to continue to encourage our students to make a difference in the race to find a cure.
Videos from the 2014 Superdance Assembly:
Shout Out by Kendall Marshall '10
Show Us Your Superdance!
History of Superdance
Photo highlights of the 2014 Superdance Assembly:
What is Superdance?
Superdance is a 12-hour dance marathon held annually at Bishop O’Connell High School to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). The students of Bishop O'Connell have raised more than $3.5 million since the dance was founded in 1975. This event is the largest high school fundraiser for CFF. More than 95 percent of the student body participates in this event each year. The twelve hours is packed with live bands, DJs, games and much more.
CLICK on the photo above to take a trip down memory lane and see Superdance through the years.
What is the Superdance Assembly?
Approximately one month before Superdance, the student body gather in the school auditorium for a three-hour assembly organized by the student council and members of the Superdance committees. The program includes a variety of guest speakers, videos, dancing, games and student presentations, all for the purpose of educating those assembled on the realities of Cystic Fibrosis and energizing the students as they prepare for the dance marathon. At the end of the assembly, this year’s theme for Superdance is revealed.
What is Cystic Fibrosis (CF)?
Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond. Find out more at www.cff.org.
History/Origin of Superdance
Since 1975, Bishop O'Connell students have been hosting a 12-hour dance marathon to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and their quest to find a cure for this genetic disease. The first dance marathon was organized by Msgr. James McMurtrie—then principal of the school—and Maura O'Donnell, whose sister had succumbed to Cystic Fibrosis not long before. For more than 30 years, Superdance has become a uniting force at Bishop O'Connell. Maura O'Donnell, who helped start this tradition, went on to nursing school, but also died from CF a few years later. Representatives of the O'Donnell family, and other families stricken with this disease, come each year to the Superdance assembly to help educate and inspire the students.
Tom Glynn, Student Council Moderator
Cheri O'Reilly, Student Council Moderator
ALUMNI ARE INVITED
Alumni are encouraged to stop by the 2014 Superdance on March 15 and stay as long as you would like. Make sure to visit the Alumni Room that has snacks and memories from past Superdance events.
Just a few miles away, there is a 21 and older alumni event at World of Beers Restaurant in Ballston, on the same night, from 7 p.m. until midnight. The proceeds from this event will directly support COTA and the medical expenses related to Danny Bessette’s (class of 2002) lung transplant. Share the facebook event with your friends and join us! Find out more about this event at:
NEWS & ARCHIVES
Superdance 2013 is a Success!
Arlington Catholic Herald on Superdance preparations
Superdance Highlighted in Catholic Online Magazine
Kathryn Elliott, a 2008 graduate of Bishop O'Connell, contributed a touching article on the origins of our annual Superdance fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis, and the legacy of the O'Donnell family, to the January 2011 issue of the Catholic devotional magazine, The Word Among Us. Read the article at http://wau.org/archives/article/dancing_for_dear_life/.