By Grace Welsh —
The University of Louisville’s largest student-led philanthropic event is looking a little different this year. For the first time ever, raiseRED will be held completely virtually in order to remain within COVID-19 guidelines.
Traditionally an 18-hour dance marathon, the event will be broken up over six days throughout the week of Feb. 15. Each day’s event will consist of guest speakers and interactive events like trivia and games. The week concludes on Saturday, Feb. 20, when a closing ceremony will be held, during which, the organization will reveal of the amount of money raised.
Last year, raiseRED was able to raise over $690,000 to benefit pediatric cancer research.
raiseRED has touched the hearts of many in the last five years, raising over 3 million dollars for Norton’s Cancer Institute and U of L’s School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. raiseRED also initiates mentorship programs between students and children, which allows students to make more of a direct and long-lasting impact on the families. According to the raiseRED website, the money goes directly towards funding those departments and the families in need.
“raiseRED, in my opinion, is the single most important organization tied to U of L,” said Team Leader Manu Nair. Nair is one of the hundreds of U of L students who have been working for the past year to ensure successful fundraising this year.
“Unless you have personally gone through this struggle, people don’t know how hard it can be to watch your child battle cancer,” Nair said. “We are fighting for them as they already have an immense battle to fight themselves.”
Ashley Correl, is a freshman who is participating in the event for the first time. “I can already feel that everyone is so excited to get involved. It inspires so many others to join in on raising money,” she said.
raiseRED participants can still join on behalf of an organization (such as athletics, the Indian Student Association, Porter Scholars, ELSB, Greek life) or they can join on an individual basis.
Students who raise $200 by Feb. 15 will be paired with a team of other dancers and given the opportunity to participate in interactive events. Fundraising requires a bit of creativity, with many members doing things like social media games and clothing/bake sales.
While being virtual may hinder some interpersonal connections, raiseRED is about helping those in need, Ruby Young, raiseRed’s student outreach coordinator, said.
“I think this year more than ever, people will realize how much help these kids and their families need. COVID-19 impacted them in ways we could never imagine.”
File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal