KINGSTON, R.I. — April 9, 2019 — The air inside Mackal Field House was hot and sticky on the evening of March 20, but that didn’t deter thousands of University of Rhode Island students from staying on their feet from 4 p.m. to midnight in an effort to raise more than $290,000 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
The official figure at the end of the night was $292,173, which will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network and Hasbro Children’s Hospital. The total was about double the amount raised in 2018, the first year of RhodyThon.
After a long and celebratory night of dancing, the RhodyThon executive board members stood on stage to announce the final total, which prompted the participants to break into applause and cheering.
Even sweeter, though, were the smiles on the Miracle Kids’ faces while they played and danced with their newfound collegiate friends throughout the evening.
“RhodyThon really allows for our miracle children and their families to feel appreciated and cared for,” says Nicolette St. Amand, director of the External Committee for RhodyThon. “Thousands of strangers walked into Mackal [Field House] to help kids they will probably never meet, however their drive and perseverance for those eight hours and additional hours spent fundraising outside the event make it seem like the miracle families are our own. It really just goes to show that URI is more than a university; it is a community that comes together time and time again to make a huge difference in a myriad of ways.”
According to St. Amand, the money raised at RhodyThon helps children and their families feel more at home during their time at the hospital. Funds can be used to pay for activities for the kids and their families, renovate the family rooms, and help the families financially during the hospitalization.
“The money does really impact and mean a lot to the kids and the families,” says St. Amand. “It helps the kids have a sense of normalcy while getting treatment in the hospital. It allows them to be a kid and have fun at a time when they are being emotionally and physically tested to the max. For their parents and families, it really brings a sense of relief and security at a time when that is hard to come by. It allows them to focus on making sure their child is healthy by taking care of all the small things that they may be burdened with.”
This story was written by Lauren Poirier, a sophomore English and public relations double major and intern at the University’s Department of Marketing and Communications.