McConnell Scholars recognized for leadership in RaiseRED Dance Marathon
Fifteen McConnell Scholars participated in UofL’s RaiseRED Dance Marathon this year, an annual fundraising event to combat cancer and blood disease. Ben Barberie and Isabella Martin (’21) served on the Executive Staff; George Nalbandian (’21) and Bryson Sebastian (’24) served as Team Leaders; Yelena Bagdasaryan (’24) and Katie Hayden (’24) served as Student Outreach Coordinators; and Caleb Aridano (’24), Emily Bevins (’24), Julia Blackburn (’24), Paighton Brooks (’24), Sawyer Depp (’24), Leah Hazelwood (’21), Malcomb Haming (’21), and Mary Catherine Medley (’24) all served as Dancers. Alumna Toree Parrish (2007) also served as an advisor overseeing event coordination, planning, and logistics. For their combined efforts, the McConnell Scholars Program won a Silver RSO Award recognizing the students for dancer registration, marathon participation, and general fundraising. In total, McConnell Scholars were responsible for fundraising a total of $17,360.
Senior Ben Barberie said, “The effort put towards raiseRED has left me feeling the most ‘normal’ I have in the past twelve months. I think investment of time, talent, and energy towards something other than yourself is a great way to recenter your life in a time as difficult as this.”
While the traditional 18-hour dance marathon was not possible due to COVID-19 restraints, this year’s dancers were still able to take part in many of the traditional activities such as meeting with pediatric oncologists, a “Why I Dance” presentation, and a talent show put on by children currently battling cancer. The week ended Saturday with the organization revealing its $507,203 donation to the Norton Children’s Cancer Institute and the University of Louisville Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology to support clinical research and patient needs.