Luther College Chips

LCDM holds benefit concert at The Lingonberry

Beautiful Mess prepares to perform in the Lingonberry.

Beautiful Mess prepares to perform in the Lingonberry.

Jonathan Kuehner ('20) Chips

Jonathan Kuehner ('20) Chips

Beautiful Mess prepares to perform in the Lingonberry.

Jonathan Kuehner, Staff Writer

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Luther College Dance Marathon (LCDM) hosted a benefit concert at The Lingonberry, a performance and event venue in downtown Decorah, on Friday, Nov. 3. For a five dollar admission fee, students and community members enjoyed a night of music, community, and Dance Marathon trivia.

The night was led by former Morale Captain Zane Larson (‘19) who conceived of the event.

“I had a crazy idea my freshman and sophomore year to start a benefit concert, but I didn’t get around to it until [this] year,” Larson said. “I decided I was going to do it. I contacted the [Dance Marathon] president and we started planning.”

LCDM is the largest organization on Luther College’s campus with nearly 400 dancers participating last year. LCDM works with other Iowa teams to raise funds for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Last year, the group raised a total of $71,814.06. According to LCDM President Haley Steffen (‘19), the group hopes to meet or beat that amount this year, though they have not set a public goal.

“We were just hoping to raise money for the kids,” Steffen said. “And we were hoping it would be a big awareness event as well, getting the word into the community about what Dance Marathon is and how it affects everyone around here.”

Money is raised primarily by dancers who collect a minimum of $25 prior to participating in the final marathon dance event. This event will last from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on April 8, 2018. This event is the crux of Dance Marathon, but is preceded by a number of other fundraising opportunities such as Friday’s benefit concert and the Donut Dash, which took place earlier this semester. Other past fundraisers have included a dodgeball tournament and SPO Love, an opportunity for students to send candy to their friends through the Mail Center.

Jonathan Kuehner (’20) Chips
Lauren Jo Eakes (’19) reads some of her original poetry.

“A lot of people have this idea that Dance Marathon is just one big event in April, but that’s not really true,” Morale Captain Merrsadiz Smith (‘20) said. “We have many events throughout the year to raise money for the children.”

The night began with the jazz stylings of Graham Hoshaw (‘20) and Troy Downey (‘20). Ingy and the Ernies, a group comprised of Christy Emanuelson (‘18), Inga Aleckson (‘18), and Emma Withers (‘18), then took the stage. They were followed by a traditional string trio featuring selections by Boccherini and the Beatles. The variety of performances continued as Luther students came forward to read their favorite poems, which included original works, inspirational poems, and children’s poems by Lewis Carroll and A.A. Milne.

Following the poetry portion were performances from each of Luther’s four a capella groups, including the inaugural performance of the newly formed group, Fermata Nowhere. All this led up to a presentation from University of Iowa Dance Marathon member Erin Taber, who spoke on the importance of the program. The last performance of the night was Colin Cosgrove (‘20) who performed “Daughters” by John Mayer as well as an original piece.

There were several other opportunities to be involved in the night’s festivities. For example, there was a ribbon board where attendees could pin ribbons for loved ones who have fought or are fighting various diseases.

In the future, LCDM would like to use this event as an opportunity to reach out to the city of Decorah and surrounding areas.

“Hopefully next year we can get more of the community of Decorah in here,” Larson said. “That’s something Dance Marathon has always struggled with.”

LCDM plans to hold more fundraising activities before the main event on April 8, though no dates have been set.

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