RockyTHON hosts annual Miracle Jeans Day

Rachel Greene, Editor-in-chief

Western Illinois University RockyTHON, formerly known as Dance Marathon, is hosting its fifth annual Miracle Jeans Day.

According to their website, “RockyTHON at Western Illinois University is a year-long fundraiser that raises money for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, more specifically St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  The fundraiser culminates in a 12-hour long celebration in which participants stay on their feet (or dance!) the entire time!”

On Oct. 8, Western Illinois University employees, as well as anyone else who is interested in supporting this cause, are being asked to donate $5 in exchange for the chance to wear jeans rather than their typical professional attire.

RockyTHON President Mary Leamon said, “Miracle jeans day is a day where people are encouraged to donate  $5 to RockyTHON, and in turn can wear jeans to work all day. This is a great opportunity to raise funds and awareness for kids in children’s miracle network hospitals. The money our program raises goes to the Children’s Hospitals of Greater St. Louis. We do Miracle Jeans Day twice a year, but this year it is especially important because of the way the hospitals have been impacted by COVID-19. The kids need our help now more than ever, and as the new slogan for CMN goes, kids can’t wait.”

The organization, which typically holds the largest philanthropic event on campus, is hopeful that the Spring semester will provide some sense of normalcy. While the fate of the main RockyTHON 2021 event is still debatable, the Leadership Team and Executive Board are still planning on gathering on March 27, 2021.

The Vice President of Finance for RockyTHON, Justin Brown said “This semester due to COVID-19 we are hosting this event in a manner that requires no-contact, allowing participants to donate online and utilizing campus mail to deliver the sticker. The concept and idea remain the same, but we are heavily focused on ensuring the safety of all participants and those who are choosing to support RockyTHON on this occasion.”

 In a typical year, Rocky-THON would be hosting in-person events such as their color run, pancake dinner and tabling. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the organization is being forced to get creative. Miracle Jeans Day has moved to no contact, the color run has evolved into a virtual 5k, and they will begin tabling in masks and from a safe distance in the coming weeks.  

The Vice President of External for RockyTHON, Marisa Santore, said “This year has been exceptionally difficult in terms of recruitment and boosting morale for students. As an organization, though, we are always finding new ways to persevere. Miracle Jeans Day is a perfect example of an event that could be easily tweaked to work in our new reality. I am excited to see people posting pictures of them in their jeans and to get the community excited about helping the kids.”

For those who want to participate, registration is available at bit.ly/WIUMJD2020 or by check (payable to WIU RockyThon) or cash.