For the 43rd time in 43 years, Bishop O'Connell students rallied around one specific cause –the hope of finding a cure for cystic fibrosis—through an epic 12-hour dance marathon, Superdance. The event was organized and run by a group of 90 student committee chairs who had earlier hosted a school-wide assembly to educate and motivate their peers for this big day.
On Saturday, Mar. 10, the O'Connell gym was once again filled with students who already knew more about this disease than most American teenagers. There was 12 hours of entertainment, from student, faculty and outside performers, bands and DJs. Students were well fed and hydrated, and the facilities were decorated with this year's theme "When You Wish Upon the Cure"—all thanks to the hard work of other student-organized committees. Campus Ministry provided two opportunities to attend Mass, as well, to pray for those families affected by cystic fibrosis.
Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, student members of the finance committee announced new totals raised. Senior Matt Ehlers, who chaired the finance committee, could not have been happier with this year's Superdance. "I spent the first half of the dance in the library, where our committee was watching as our total shattered the records of the past ten Superdances," he said. "Then being able to dance and celebrate with the great people who helped make this event possible was an experience I will never forget."
When the clock approaches midnight, it is a Superdance tradition to play Billy Joel's "Piano Man," and for the tired students to form a giant circle, where they sway arm in arm until the last note is played. This year was no different, and as exhausted as some of the students might have been, they lingered a bit longer, not wanting the night to end.
Donations to the cause are still coming in, and as of Tuesday morning, the total number had reached $157,000. "Our online donation system has helped make giving more convenient," said faculty moderator, Kathryn Haas. "We are continuing to see new donations coming in, even as we speak. This is a true credit to the passion and hard work of all of our students, who haven't stopped talking about Superdance yet!"
Head of School Joseph Vorbach added, "Our students brought unparalleled energy to this cause. They were energized by a sense that they were doing something big and meaningful together."
"When we talk about the blessing of working in Catholic schools, we recall events like the Superdance," he continued. "We are lifted up by the enthusiasm, idealism, and zeal to serve that our young people bring to such an effort."
To find out more about Superdance or to donate to the cause, visit www.superdance.org.