FTK all the DM day

Captains danced away at Captathon to raise money for the Children’s Network Hospitals

Phi Mu and Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) brought paradise to CNU at their annual philanthropy event, Captathon. 

While this event has been going on for a few years labeled CNU’s Dance Marathon, this is only the third year that the event has been branded as Captathon. 

Held on Nov. 8, it was a PLP and Honors event that was directed by Phi Mu’s Alyssa Cole and Pike’s Matt Stevenson. So far, $27,298.43 has been raised through the event For The Kids (FTK).

All the proceeds from this event go to the Children’s Network Hospitals of the King’s Daughters (CHKD), which is the southeastern Virginian branch of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  

Any size donation is important as the donations contribute greatly to the operation of the hospital and the general well being of the families. 

A donation of $100 dollars can give the hospital a day’s worth of hospital gowns, while a donation of $70,000 can give the hospital a fully outfitted transport isolette for NICU babies. 

While Captathon was just one night, preparation and fundraising for the event started weeks earlier on Child’s Health Day, this year on Oct. 7. 

Pike promoted the day with a week of tabling, tie-dye and a dunk tank. Following this, members of Captathon tabled every Tuesday and Thursday and then the entire week before Captathon. 

This tabling not only promoted the event, but it allowed students to buy tickets for a raffle. The tickets were $1 for one ticket, $5 dollars and $15 tickets for an entire wingspan. The winners of the raffle received a multitude of gift cards, baskets, a YETI rambler or a YETI cooler. 

In addition to adding a tropical theme to the night, Cole and Stevenson introduced color wars for the first time at this year’s Captathon. 

Cole described this as “different organizations that are going to be competing and then whoever raises the most money and gets the most points throughout the night by doing games and activities will end up winning.” 

This year, the organizations were all greek organizations: Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Delta Rho, Kappa Sigma and Sigma Phi Epsilon. 

Color wars were added this year to “have a little competition base at the event” according to Stevenson. To achieve this, Captathon had many events that pitted these organizations against each other, including tug-of-war, three-legged races, hula hoop races and an obstacle course. 

There were also a few less-physical events involved in the color wars in terms of participating in change wars before the event. Change wars involves putting money in different organizations’ jars to earn points. Each team had a jar associated with their organization, and whoever had the most points won. 

True to the name, the goal is to get the most change, but only in the form of coins. Other organizations can put bills into each other’s jars, however, to negate the points from the overall total. 

The individuals on the color war teams had their own profiles that let them send out a link for people to donate to. In addition to people being able to share their profiles, they could also share Captathon’s Instagram posts which featured the stories of some of the Miracle Kids. Stevenson discussed that “It shows [that] this is a real human being. This is somebody who is going through this right now. It’s really nice to know what their story is, what their interests are, what their hobbies are and what they can achieve once they get through the system.” 

At the end of the night, several awards were given out to the color war teams. While Kappa Delta Rho overall won color wars, Kappa Sigma fundraised the most money and Alpha Phi had the most morale.

For members not in a color wars team, there was still plenty to do at the event. There was a craft corner that allowed people to make friendship bracelets, cards and blankets to give to the children in the hospital. Furthermore, they had cornhole, Jenga, ring toss and Moon Shoes for people to run around in. 

On a larger scale, they had several inflatables. This included a Connect Four game that required the throwing of basketballs, an obstacle course and a life-sized foosball table where the students were the “players” on the field. 

They even had an entire corner marked off for students to play video games on all types of consoles. They also had a face-painting table, numerous photo booths and featured a performance by U Sounds, one of the Christopher Newport a capella groups. 

As the event went several hours, they had pizza, snacks and drinks that were covered by the $7 entry fee. They also brought back several of the Miracle Kids to put a face and personality to the event.

Since the event was a dance marathon, music was playing throughout the night with dancing encouraged. In addition, Captathon had morale captains that taught people little pieces of a dance throughout the night, and at the end, all the students got to perform the entire dance together. Stevenson remarks that this is done because “it shows a little kind of school spirit.”

People love to come out to the event and participate in all the activities, especially now that color wars adds competition and more to do. Cole said that her “favorite part is seeing the Miracle Kids at the event and hearing their stories. It really just puts validation in you that this is why we do it. We do it For The Kids.” 

Participants at Captathon echoed their sentiment. Sophomore Emma McConnell says she loves the event because she “likes how it brings together all the organizations and just anyone from campus.”

Captathon is an event trying to emphasize Greek unity on CNUs campus, “It’s one of those big on-campus events like GPhi’s Best Dance Crew and Stroll to the Polls; You just have everyone in one place hanging out and having a good time together,” commented Senior Ethan Martin about the event. “I think it’s something that really fosters a sense of community on campus.” 

When asked what his favorite part of the event was, Senior Otso Castren, brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon commented “the one I enjoyed most was the tug-of-war between us and Kappa Sig. It was a really close battle but it was really fun just cheering my guys on.” 

The introduction of color wars was big for Captathon. It brings other organizations into the mix and makes it bigger than just one or two organizations. 

“We’re trying to do more Greek unity, so it’s not just Phi Mu and Pike doing it. We want to get all the Greek organizations involved and not just Greek” said Cole. She adds that even though it is only Greek organizations now, “it’s not just a Greek event. We want it to be the whole campus. It’s just when it’s first starting off, we need people and the people that we have connections to are Greek. But we want to reach out to our entire CNU campus.” 

Adding to the future of the event, Stevenson adds that in future years, “we could have club teams make a color wars team. We just want everybody to be involved, as many people on campus as possible. Everybody is FTK. Everyone is For The Kids. FTK all DM Day.”

For people who are not sure how to get involved, Stevenson advises “it’s just coming out and showing support because it doesn’t take much. It’s one night out of the year.” 

If you still want to get involved this year and help the Captathon team meet their goal of 40 thousand dollars, the page to donate to the CHKD is open until Friday, Nov. 15 at https://events.dancemarathon.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.event&eventID=3496

~Vivianna Atkins, Staff Writer~

~Kaitlin Sanata, Staff Writer~

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