The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Dance Marathon Hosts 5k to Benefit Local Charity

Niles North English teacher Jay Cha holds his son as they cheer on the crowd.

While most students were still asleep, the Niles West and North’s Dance Marathon clubs were hosting a 5k, gathering members of the community to run and raise money for charity. They’ve been hosting this race for the past ten years, and on Oct. 15, they collected over $2,500, making this year’s 5k the most successful one yet.

Dance Marathon is a club where students choose a charity and fundraise for it throughout the year. Their main beneficiary this year is Will’s Place, a non-profit cafe in downtown Skokie that offers workplace experience for young adults with disabilities.

“Our goals for the entire year is to not just help promote Will’s Place but also to help Will’s Place secure its place in the community. With getting its message out, with getting people involved, the extra funds through our fundraising will help them provide more opportunities to young adults, help them bring in more staff, more equipment, more time and opportunities and experiences,” Dance Marathon sponsor Tony Comstock said. 

Making this happen was not an easy task and the members of Dance Marathon spent weeks planning the logistics and promoting it to the community.

“I’m not going to lie, it was a ton of work. We had lots of help from all our committees, our food committee got us all these bagels, PR made posters, merch made really cute shirts and then community outreach did a lot of things to make sure people signed up. It turned out to be really successful, so it was definitely worth all the time we spent on it,” Dance Marathon Executive Penelope Roewe said. 

Part of the reason why Will’s Place was chosen was because it is local and connected to District 219; therefore, it is meaningful for some Dance Marathon members.

 “A lot of [Will’s Place workers] are out of a program called Bridges, so usually people who go to West or North with disabilities would then go to Bridges, which kind of starts your training and then they could go on to work at Will’s Place. It’s cool to have a connection to the people who are actually being helped by Will’s Place,” Dance Marathon Executive Saige Bender said. 

William Schejbal graduated from Niles West in 2020, going on to found Will’s Place with his mom and aunt due to the lack of job opportunities for people with disabilities.

“With Will having gone to West, it’s extra special because he has given us so much good, and it’s time to give some good back to him,” Comstock said. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Niles West News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *