QTHON 2020 goes virtual

Brooke Reilly

QTHON is Quinnipiac’s annual 10-hour dance marathon that raises money for Connecticut Children’s in Hartford. The event was originally supposed to take place on Saturday, March 21, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

This did not stop the QTHON 2020 management team from putting on a virtual event and encouraging participants to continue fundraising.

“I was definitely upset when we first found out about the in-person event being cancelled, but once we explored the virtual options and different options that were available to us, it definitely helped,” QTHON Executive Director Rachel Taylor said.

The virtual event was modeled as similarly to the in-person event as possible. Director of Public Relations Carlye Paskow posted a series of photos and videos on Instagram throughout the day.

The team was able to get videos of the miracle children sharing their talents and telling their stories. They also had each of the organizations that were sponsoring a child send in videos and make cards to share with them to replace the in-person contact. They even included pre recorded performances from the different dance groups and a full video of the morale dance, so participants could still learn it throughout the day.

The day concluded with a reveal of the total amount of money raised throughout the year-long fundraiser. The management team decided not to set a fundraising goal this year, but Director of Finance Benjamin Mahon admitted that the numbers looked different than years past for much of the year.

“At the point where we started to pick up a lot was when all of this happened,” Mahon said. “Just following along with it throughout the year was just kind of thrilling and terrifying at the same time.”

The QTHON 2020 participants raised a total of $206,697.59 for Connecticut Children’s.

“Everybody was so incredibly proud, in tears, just kind of realizing that all of our hard work is represented in that number,” Taylor said.

Although things didn’t go as planned, the management team sees this year’s fundraiser and event as a success.