Ohio State Newark Students Dance for a Cure at BuckeyeThon’s Dance Marathon
Students at The Ohio State University danced the night – and day – away to raise a record $1,704,184.19 for pediatric cancer research. Among the 5,000 students who participated in the BuckeyeThon Dance Marathon held on Feb. 8 and 9 at the Ohio Union on Ohio State’s Columbus campus, four represented Ohio State Newark. Captained by Meghana Menta, it was the first time in five years that Newark campus students participated.
Menta first learned about BuckeyeThon, the largest student run philanthropy in the state of Ohio, from a family friend while in high school. BuckeyeThon raises funds and awareness for the Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. BuckeyeThon’s Dance Marathon is an annual celebration of the fundraising that Ohio State has done for the year through various events for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Menta knew she wanted to experience her friend’s passion for herself.
“BuckeyeThon was the perfect way to get involved my first year. I was super excited about it and wanted to jumped right in and do something with it,” said Menta.
Menta decided she wanted to create a Newark campus team, but wasn’t sure where to start. Menta was connected to Nicole Marcus, director of campus engagement for BuckeyeThon. Marcus was able to set Menta up with a liaison to assist her through the process. After creating a team, the members had to create a constitution and office positions just like any other student organization. All that was left was for each participant to raise $250 to attend BuckeyeThon’s largest event: The Dance Marathon. Menta, Zachary Ellis, Madison Jones, Kennedy Pannell and Saloni Patel were all successful in qualifying for the Dance Marathon.
“It’s super hard to explain with words what it was like when we were there. You have to be there to understand it to the full extent,” said Menta about covering the 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. scarlet shift of the Dance Marathon. “While we were there, being a regional campus team felt like we were a little out of place because we had not been a part of all the other Columbus campus events. By the end of our 12-hour shift, somehow everything felt connected even though we weren’t at all the meetings and activities. We still felt we were part of the family and part of something bigger.”
While Menta will transition to Columbus campus next semester, she hopes the Newark campus team will continue and increase the number of participants who can attend the Dance Marathon. Menta is applying to the general body team and hopes to be able to help other regional campuses join BuckeyeThon and participate in events in Columbus.
“Everyone was crying in that room. Everyone was so happy that we had done something so big,” said Menta on experiencing the grand reveal. “It wasn’t just one or two people but an entire community. We all came together to fight for one cause together.”
Photo caption: L-R: Saloni Patel, Kennedy Pannell, Meghana Menta and Madison Jones.
The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.