The Miracle Dance Network Marathon has named Elena Denton (‘ 21) as a recipient of the 2021 Miracle Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Awards. Denton is one of 27 graduating college and high school student leaders to be honored with the award.
Denton, a native of Moline, Ill., has participated in Loras College Dance Marathon throughout her time at Loras, serving as a delegate of the Family Committee, morale captain, morale chair and co-president in that time.
“Elena has been an important piece of Loras College Dance Marathon since she started at Loras,” Kelsey Callahan (’16), assistant director of student life, said. “She was involved in Dance Marathon through her high school and was able to jump right in at Loras. Since then, she took on new leadership positions throughout her four years and made a lasting impact on many fellow students. Elena’s laugh and positive attitude were always a bright light on the team and were especially appreciated this year! I am so grateful to have worked alongside Elena over the years, and I know her legacy has made a lasting impact.”
For Denton, her involvement with Dance Marathon stems from a personal connection.
“An older classmate of mine, Jordan, was diagnosed with multiple rare types of cancer when he was very little,” she said. “Unfortunately, Jordan lost his battle and flew to heaven when he was only a sophomore in high school. Jordan was the nicest person you could ever encounter. He did not let his disease affect his positive personality. Jordan was one of the strongest people I have ever met, and I strive to be like him every day. I dance so that one day, kiddos do not have to suffer anymore. They deserve to live their lives to the fullest.”
All honorees are recognized for making an exceptional impact within their Dance Marathon program, on their individual campus and for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.
Loras College Dance Marathon (LCDM) is a student-led organization that raises funds for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. The programs we fund help to create a little bit of normalcy for the kids and their families in the hospital. LCDM has raised more than $2M raised by over the past 14 years. Despite the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic, LCDM managed to raise $37,589 this year and over $148,000 the past two years.
Miracle Network Dance Marathon is an international movement involving over 400 colleges, universities and K-12 schools across the United States and Canada that fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. These students work tirelessly throughout the year to raise funds one dollar at a time by making the ask to family and friends. Their hard work culminates in a 6–40-hour celebration on their campus or virtually, where participants have the opportunity to rally together as a community for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Students involved in Dance Marathon gain valuable skills in fundraising, peer management, delegation and philanthropy. Miracle Network Dance Marathon programs have collectively raised more than $300 million since 1991.
“There’s so much in life that we take for granted. Often, we don’t even recognize those little things until it’s too late. No child or family should have to face the most devastating news of their life alone. Even if it’s a cup of coffee, a snack, a little peace of mind for the families, that’s what it’s all about. In alliance with our theme, the little things make life so much sweeter. People should fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network because it helps celebrate more birthdays,” Denton said.