Monday, April 22

Students get ready to dance night and day away for AIDS


Organizers hope to make marathon an annual event at UCLA

By Sabrina Singhapattanapong

Daily Bruin Contributor

On your mark, get set, DANCE!

In UCLA’s first annual dance marathon, about 190 students
will be on their feet for 26 hours tonight in Tom Bradley
International Hall to raise money for the Elizabeth Glaser
Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Members of the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils
collaborated with the Undergraduate Student Association Council,
Student Alumni Association and On Campus Housing Council to push
forth the fund-raiser in seven months.

Because AIDS patients never get breaks from their illness,
dancers must remain standing at all times ““ except for
bathroom breaks, said dancer relations chair Kate Berg.

“I’m a little apprehensive about how long we have to
dance, but I’m excited that I get to be part of such a good
cause,” said Jessica Drevno, a second-year history
student.

The EGPAF financially supports a research network of five
leading hospitals across the nation, including UCLA. It provided
$14 million for UCLA pediatric research programs in 1999, according
to the foundation’s Web site.

Dr. Jerome Zack is one of three UCLA pediatric AIDS researchers
who received multiple grants from EGPAF. He alone has received more
than $1 million from the foundation over the years.

“They are a phenomenal organization,” Zack said.
“I’m excited that students are supporting the
organization.”

Dance Marathon co-chair Emily Whichard said she hopes students
understand how important their participation is in helping
researchers find a cure for AIDS.

“This could be a huge tradition on campus ““ a
unifying thing for a campus that needs that,” Whichard said.
“I’m just really excited that something like this was
brought to me that I could help with.”

Although each dancer submitted at least $100 to join the event,
event organizers stressed the importance of campus unity and AIDS
awareness rather than setting monetary goals.

“It’s a great way to get the Greeks involved and the
whole UCLA community at large working for something
together,” said Cara Rosenthal, vice president of the
Panhellenic Council.

Food from local restaurants like Subway and In-N-Out will keep
students full as they dance to different beats ranging from
’80s music to disco tunes.

Dancers will also meet celebrities like African Survivor reality
show winner Ethan Zohn and young AIDS victims to help keep them on
their toes. 

“It’s really going to be a 26 hour party,”
said Kit Van Dusen, public relations officer for the event.

Students interested in dropping by the event can donate $5 at
the door to enter a drawing for various prizes ““ including
two Southwest round-trip plane tickets and gift certificates.

For more information, students are asked to go to http://www.ucladm.org.

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