RockyTHON hosts annual pancake dinner

Lauren Antoniolli, Courier Staff

Western Illinois University’s RockyTHON will be hosting a pancake dinner on March 4th from 4-8 p.m. The event will take place in Knoblauch Parking Lot, which is located right next to the WIU student union. This will be a drive-thru style event. Advance tickets are currently available for purchase. Members of the RockyTHON Executive Board and morale team are selling these tickets in advance for $5. Tickets will also be available for $7 at the door. To purchase tickets, you can reach out to Ashley Bowles at am-bowles@wiu.edu

According to Western Illinois University RockyTHON Executive Board member Bowles, “Pancake dinner is one of our annual events! It is a great way to get to know our Executive Board members and see how hard we are working to make sure we raise enough money for the kids!” 

RockyTHON is part of a national movement for students to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Colleges and high schools all over the country have organizations dedicated to raising money for this cause, holding massive annual fundraising events that bring in thousands to even millions of dollars. According to Bowles, “WIU RockyTHON is a non-profit organization that raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in the St. Louis area. We raise money for kids in need to make sure that they have a future!” RockyTHON’s year-long fundraising efforts conclude with a 12-hour dance marathon event intended to raise as much money for the kids as possible, connect with families that are directly impacted by Children’s Miracle Network and inspire participants to have more awareness about children’s health. In 2020, this final event was held virtually due to COVID-19. Participants were encouraged to stand for 12 full hours in recognition of the doctors and nurses in children’s hospitals who work 12 hour shifts. They also accessed videos of families talking about how Children’s Miracle Network impacted their lives and how their children’s lives were affected by medical conditions. The 2020 virtual event brought in $86,008 for the kids. 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, life for children in hospitals is even more difficult than before, as many children are dealing with visitation limits and other restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. National financial hardships have impacted fundraising for non-profit organizations. Thus, according to Bowles, fundraising for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is more important for Western Illinois University students now than ever. She says, “Attending the RockyTHON pancake dinner is a small thing you can do to make a big difference in the lives of children in the St. Louis area hospitals.” In addition to ticket purchases, RockyTHON accepts donations of any amount towards their cause of Children’s Miracle Network. You can make a donation through any RockyTHON participant. If you want to participate in RockyTHON in 2021, it is not too late to register! The minimum fundraising amount for participants is $100, but participants can choose to set higher fundraising goals if they want to make a greater impact. Attending the pancake dinner on March 4th is a great way to learn more about the RockyTHON organization and local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals!