BoomerTHON committee draws in community support for QTHON


Students at Parker Farms Elementary School in Wallingford, CT

Olivia Kettell, Newscast: Associate Producer

The BoomerTHON committee partnered with Parker Farms, a local elementary school to raise money for QTHON, the annual philanthropic dance marathon on-campus.

Lauren Galligan, the acting BoomerTHON chair, engaged the surrounding community through connections with local schools and worked with the Wallingford elementary school this year to promote the cause outside of the university.

“BoomerTHON is a local school outreach committee and program that we have here at Quinnipiac so we basically just outreach to local schools… and ask them if they want to raise some money and have some fun with QThon,” Galligan said. “So we put on all different kinds of events… anything big or small, we just like to kind of get the message out.”

In the past, BoomerTHON has connected with middle and high schools as well, but this year Parker Farms Elementary was the sole partnership for Galligan.

“The main goal with the Parker Farms – QTHON connection was primarily to raise the funds and awareness that we do for Connecticut Children’s, so getting the money raised, getting the awareness out there that there are kids in Connecticut Children’s that need our help and that need our funds that we raised for them,” Galligan said.

Parker Farms has been partnering with QTHON since the 2017-2018 school year and provides a unique connection with Connecticut Children’s Hospital.

“With any school, we try to use the fact that they’re elementary school kids with the fact that there are elementary school kids that are being treated. Just making that connection, and being like, this could be you, or this could be your friend… a lot of people really like that message,” Galligan said. “And the fun aspect of the spirit week or the mini QTHON really gets it to them.”

With a spirit week and culminating in a “mini BoomerTHON” dance event, a donor drive was created to give students and families the option to contribute to the cause.

“They really enjoy the spirit week, the dressing up, and we don’t require a monetary donation, it’s all just volunteer. We give them the link and they donate, if they want to donate $5, if they want to donate $50, however much they want,” Galligan said.

Galligan worked with special education teacher Brittany French from Parker Farms to organize the events to raise awareness for the cause and boost the morale for the students.

“This year we actually did a spirit week of different events for the kids. Throughout the week there was an online forum where they could go and make donations to the organization,” said French. “We did different days like crazy hat day. We ended with pajama day. Within this too, we did a mini danceathon… and the kids got to learn part of the spirit dance.”

QTHON’s partnership with Parker Farms highlighted the connections that many have with Connecticut Children’s Hospital.

“It’s interesting because during this time we have students that come forth that share that they have actually been patients at the children’s medical center, so some of them like to share their stories and bring some of that full circle and share how they’ve gotten support and help there,” said French. “We’ve also had staff members whose children, cousins, nieces, nephews have gone through that system as well.”

French believes this partnership is beneficial on a scale from the students up to the larger community and the state of Connecticut.

“It is also just a time for us to come outside of just our Wallingford area and give to the state and help raise funds for them in a different way while tying it back to being personal at home,” said French.

Galligan, an education major, says bringing this message and connection to elementary school children is what drew her specifically to BoomerTHON.

“I got into it because of my background in education, my background in kids, but I liked the message of connecting the kids to the kids,” Galligan said.

Through the Parker Farms partnership this year, $670 was raised to benefit Connecticut Children’s Hospital.