Students raise $515,440.74 at South High Marathon Dance

The annual South High Marathon Dance raised $515,440.74 for charity.

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This was the 45th annual South High Marathon Dance.

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What started as a small event with a few dozen couples raising $1,500 for the local rescue squad, has blossomed into the Capital Region’s largest student-driven fundraiser.

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It’s typically held in the gym at South High. However, last year and this year, because of COVID, it’s held in a pavilion at the Great Escape. The open sides of the structure allowing fresh air and the dancer’s enthusiasm to spread into the theme park and into the community.

Beginning with that first little dance in 1978, up until 2021, students at South High have raised roughly $9.4 million. They’re known as the bulldogs, which is perfect because of their dogged in their passion for helping people who are sick or need a helping hand.

For those who’ve been involved for decades, like long-time advisor and one-time dancer and student chair Tom Myott, the best part is when the recipients tell the dancers about their health challenges and how the marathon can save their lives.

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"You cannot duplicate that feeling you get when you have the recipients in front of you and the stories that come out of it," Myott said earlier in the day on Friday. "Heart-wrenching, tearful, joyful. How do you bring that emotion year after year? And it’s always there. So genuine."