On the afternoon of Apr. 10, 2022, a group of Cobbers gathered to perform dances and put on a show.
Apart from sparking some entertainment and fun in the midst of finals and deadlines approaching, the core mission and accomplishments of the organizers of this event went much further, especially to the Sanford Children’s Hospital. The event was put on by an on-campus club called CobberTHON.
According to Elijah Grove, executive director of CobberTHON, the club was started around a little over a decade ago with the mission being “This Generation Saving the Next.” The club is dedicated to raising funds and donations for the Sanford Children’s Hospital. This hospital is focused on extending cheaper and specialized services for children, ranging from physical and speech therapy to surgeries.
While the hospital is a great resource for children suffering painful illnesses, like any other institution in a small town of South Dakota, it has its limits. Grove added, “There are only 72 beds which is a very limited amount of space.” These donations could go a long way to help finance more equipment and facilities.
Erin Host, the finance director of the club, explaines the procedure of raising donations.
Host describes, “So the way it’s been successful in the past is two ways. The first is through business sponsorship….and the second way is through student-led on-campus fundraising.”
In the past year, businesses have suffered financially due to the pandemic, Host notes that it has been difficult raising financial gifts; however, businesses have not failed to show their support by donating through other ways. For example, this year 3x Gear donated shirts, Erbert & Gerbert’s catered the event on Sunday. Last year, American Crystal Sugar made a generous donation, and Blaze Pizza and Spicy Pie have also been helpful. Students have also participated in raising awareness and donating. Grove mentions that they used a link that students could share and the donated amount would directly go to the Sanford Children’s Hospital.
Even though businesses have been slowly recovering from the pandemic, at the end of the Dance Marathon the team revealed the total amount of $7,468.72 raised throughout the year for the children’s hospital.
The club members are excited to see how this will change the hospital for the better. Host recalls one of her favorite memories with the team. “The leadership team at the beginning of the year went to visit the floor in the Sanford Hospital division. We got to see ….some of the other rooms and equipment that our funds go directly towards…it increased my motivation and my drive to fundraise because I could see with my own eyes where our funds would go.”
Grove agrees, “…. We get to directly see the impact we have had on their lives.”
This year’s event was considered to be a success taking into account the slow recovery of coming back to normalness after the pandemic.
“The event went well, we had three local miracle families join us and share their miracle stories at our event. We had a great time connecting with the miracle families and celebrating our year-long efforts. This year we raised a total of $7,468.72. All the money we raised will go directly to Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo, ND. They will use these funds to continue providing the best care possible for all pediatric patients and their families who are treated at Sanford Children’s in Fargo. We are so thankful for everyone who joined us in changing kids’ lives, changing the future” says Emmy Seljevold, the internal director of the leadership team.
Host shares her thoughts about this year “the main goal this year was to re-establish a strong leadership team, rebuild some of those connections in the community, even if they weren’t able to give this year at least keep our names in their minds moving into next year.”
It seems like next year will be a more promising year for CobberTHON as the leadership team is stabilized and everyone gets back into the normal routine.