Student Organizer Spotlight: Kathryn Foley
NAME: Kathryn Foley
UNIVERSITY: New York University
MAJOR: Drama (Tisch)
GRADUATION YEAR: 2017
STUDENT ORGANIZATION: New York Dance Marathon
The New York Dance Marathon is a 12-hour dance marathon that takes place in the Fall at NYU and raises funds and awareness all year long for the B+ Foundation to fight to end pediatric cancer. Graduating Senior Kathryn Foley has been involved with the organization since her Sophomore year and has since helped put on three massively successful events! We are proud to recognize Kathryn and her team and are privileged to work with the students at NYU to support such a great cause! Check out her interview below!
Q: When and why did you join this student organization?
A: I joined NYDM as a sophomore as a Team Captain, and then amped up my involvement as a member of the Executive Board during my junior and senior years. I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of NYDM because of the foundation it supports, the B+ Foundation, and the wonderful and inspiring family that started it. I wanted to be a part of planning such a fun and meaningful event that unites all of the NYU community to fight for a great cause. NYDM changes lives and I was beyond excited and humbled to get to help plan the event this past year as Entertainment Chair on the student-run board.
Q: Name a key take-away or skill you have received during your time with the organization.
A: Persistence. In order to book multiple acts to last the 12 hours and keep the dancers and attendees amused and engaged, it was important to constantly reach out to a range of musicians and entertainers. NYDM is still a fairly new student organization on the NYU campus, and while with every successful event, we continue to raise our funds and awareness, we were dealing with a small budget so it was hard to nail down experienced and sought-after acts. I quickly learned how best to utilize my communication skills across platforms to engage possible acts and how to close the deal or at least lay groundwork for the next year’s board to hopefully book them in the years to come. Recess was a valuable asset in helping us gain funds and sponsors for the event which helped out alot!
Q: What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced during your time working with the organization?
A: One of the biggest challenges we faced this year as an Executive Board was working with a small budget. Given our small budget, it was a big challenge for all of us to coordinate food and entertainment in a way to ensure that there was never a dull moment or hour throughout the day. We wish we had more an incentive for people to stay all 12 hours by having more money to spend on food and entertainment. Therefore, keeping people in the room on the day of the dance marathon for the full 12 hours proved difficult, but is essential to keeping up the momentum throughout the entire day. We definitely improved upon that issue this past year, but still have a lot of work to do and it remains a big challenge that the current board is already tackling and hopes to solve for the next NYDM. Hopefully, more money to spend on food and entertainment due to a huge raise in awareness will help solve that challenge.
Q: What makes your event(s) different / special?
A: The B+ Heroes and all of the kids who will continue to be affected by pediatric cancer in the years to come until a cure is found. While the Dance Marathon is a fun event and celebration, not once do we forget about what we’re dancing for — to save lives and end pediatric cancer. I think that’s why we continue to increase our funds and see so much success. NYDM unites the NYU community and everyone is passionate about the cause that it benefits, The B+ Foundation.
Q: What is your most memorable moment during your time with your organization?
A: I will never forget seeing all of the B+ Heroes smiling from ear-to-ear and dancing among the NYU community during the hour that’s dedicated to them. It’s always an emotional and joyous hour because it’s a chance to really see how our hard work pays off. Then, at the very end of the 12-hour long dance marathon, there is nothing more rewarding than holding up the letters on stage with how much we raised. We all finally got to take a deep breath and celebrate all of our accomplishments as an NYU community. We were able to see how far we have come, not only fundraising-wise, but also how we bonded as a board and a team, with the help of all of our volunteers and the NYU community.