MAY 23, 2009- You’ve heard of telethons and marathon fundraising events, but have you ever heard of a dance-a-thon?
Mano Amiga Academy, a school in FTI, Taguig that provides international quality education to underprivileged children, recently hosted the first ever Mano Amiga Dance-a-thon which raised funds for 9 full scholarships for School year 2009-2010.
Held at Il Ponticello, Makati, 12 teams totaling to 60 participants volunteered to dance for 5 hours straight and raised money for Mano Amiga Academy by getting their friends, family, and co-workers to pledge a certain amount for their participation in the dance-a-thon.
Over 250 people attended the event to pledge for the dance-a-thon participants. Known dance groups like Company of Ateneo Dancers (CADS), Funky Roots and The Philippine All-Stars performed for free all throughout the night to motivate the teams to keep on dancing.
Participants were each given a “Dance-a-thon survival kit” which contained a can of Nescafe Ice Coffee, a bottle of Tropicana Twister, a bag of Tostillas, doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, and other goodies to help them last through the night. Gift bags from Glitterati, Maybelline, Mizuno and Havaianas were raffled off every hour, keeping the crowd pumped up.
The winning team, which was composed of Isabel Saldana, Regina Vivencio del Rosario, Patrick Santos, Cristina Yambao and Paola Cortez, raised P13,000 for the Mano Amiga Scholarship fund from the pledges they got. They won an overnight stay at Microtel Boracay, gift certificates from Sangria Boracay and The Spa, and Vegan cupcakes from Kitchen Revolution.
Saldana, a regular volunteer at Mano Amiga Academy’s outreach activities said that she joined the Dance-a-thon because she has seen firsthand how the school has improved the lives of the children it caters to. “I really believe that the project’s focus on providing quality education and development services can help transform the poor communities in the Philippines.”
“Winning all these awards was a nice bonus though,” Saldana adds with a smile.
The idea for the Mano Amiga Dance-a-thon was born when a group of regular Mano Amiga volunteers had lunch to come up with new ideas to help generate awareness and raise funds for the school.
“There were more traditional fundraising event ideas that we initially considered,” Mano Amiga volunteer and Dance-a-thon organizing committee member Army Padilla said. “In the end, we decided to have a Dance-a-thon because we wanted something fun and creative that would also create a lasting impression.”
“We were intimidated at first by the idea of having to dance for 5 or 6 hours straight but we were having so much fun, we completely forgot about it after a while,” 2nd place winner Patricia Ocampo shared. Her team raised P12,300 for the scholarship fund.
It costs P23,600 a year or about P65 a day to send one child to Mano Amiga Academy for one whole year. The Dance-a-thon raised enough money for 9 full-year scholarships. Aside from local pledges, the organization also received donations from the participants’ friends and relatives residing in the U.S. who pledged small amounts ranging from $10-$50.
“We are overwhelmed by the success of the event, most especially by the support we had received from the Mano Amiga partners and volunteers.” Mano Amiga Academy Institutional Development Manager Lynn Pinugu said. “Their constant support and enthusiasm truly inspire us to carry out our mission of improving lives and transforming communities.“
Mano Amiga Dance-a-thon was sponsored by Il Ponticello, Globe Telecoms, Microtel Hotels and Resorts, Asya Boracay, The Spa, Neutrogena, Tropicana Twister, Nescafe, Maybelline, Enervon-C, Kitchen Revolution, Mizuno, Glitterati, Tostillas, Havaianas, and Sangria Boracay. With special thanks to Solar Sports- Dance-a-thon’s official media partner.
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