NOVAdance Preview


NOVAdance has held its annual dance marathon since 2014.

Emma Cahill, Staff Writer

NOVAdance has been ramping up its planning and fundraising as the annual dance marathon nears. This semester, the NOVAdance Sidekicks and the committee have been involved in various fundraising efforts seeking to support this initiative.

Founded at Villanova in 2013, NOVAdance is a fundraising effort hosted every year on campus. This fundraiser seeks to support the B+ Foundation, which honors the memory of Andrew McDonough, a 14-year-old boy who passed away from leukemia in 2007. McDonough’s blood type was B+, inspiring him and his family to embrace the motto “Be Positive.” This organization provides financial support to end pediatric cancer and to support families with children who are battling cancer.

Every spring, NOVAdance hosts a 12-hour dance marathon as a fundraiser for the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. This event is NOVAdance’s biggest event of the year, often raising upwards of $500,000. 

Before the event of the year, NOVAdance has been hosting many events to raise money for the B+ Foundation. The majority of these events involve the NOVAdance Sidekicks, a freshman leadership program in which students raise funds, spread awareness about the cause and help to run the NOVAdance marathon.

Back in January, the NOVADance Sidekicks helped fundraise by canning in Philadelphia. The Sidekicks braved the cold and were stationed in Rittenhouse Square. These eager volunteers were dressed in onesies and danced with homemade signs, all while informing bypassers of the NOVAdance cause. As the Sidekicks spread the message of the B+ Foundation, they encouraged people to donate to the cause, while also raising a significant amount of money.

“The process of canning in Philly was fun and exciting,” freshman Anna Hughes said. “It was nice to be able to go into the local community and raise money and spread awareness for NOVAdance.”

Another fundraiser the Sidekicks had was the Winter Survival Kit Sale. The Sidekicks held a table outside of Cafe Nova selling cups filled with many goodies such as hand warmers and hot chocolate mix, which was a hit. 

In addition to the work of the Sidekicks, the NOVAdance committee has been playing a very important role in planning these events and fundraising for the B+ Foundation. Villanova juniors Kelton Frimel and Natalie McGrail talk about their experiences on the committee for NOVAdance as the athletics co-chairs. Frimel and McGrail discuss the different ways the committee has been working to raise money and awareness for the B+ Foundation before the annual event.

“In the past few years, we have hosted parties during the holidays, visited Heroes at sports games, arts shows and even kept them company in the hospital,” Frimel and McGrail said. “We also have events like Dine Out Days, Hero parties and different organizations will put on raffles or [tabling] events that raise money for NOVAdance. Additionally, we strive to raise awareness by doing our best to live out the B+ message and remembering Andrew McDonough and our Heroes in everything we do.” 

In addition to these efforts, the NOVAdance committee has been working hard to plan the 12-hour dance marathon that takes place in the spring. Within the NOVAdance committee, there are subcommittees that work in conjunction with each other to plan various aspects of this dance marathon. 

“We all work very closely together and bounce off ideas, give each other support and help out in different ways,” Frimel and McGrail said. “We are both on Recruitment, so for our subcommittee specifically, we work to get as many people involved throughout the year as well as for the Marathon itself. We work closely with on-campus groups, Greek life and athletic teams. Other committee members work on music and dancing, food trucks, graphics, the 12-hour schedule, decorating and all the behind-the-scenes components—just to list a few. We meet every Tuesday to plan and work on everything, as well as share updates with everyone. And then depending on the sub-committee, there might be another one or two meetings throughout the week to plan events, etc.” 

Behind all of the planning and hard work of the committee, as well as the Sidekicks, is a sense of commitment to an important cause. For every event NOVAdance has, money is raised for children who are suffering against pediatric cancer. People like Frimel and McGrail, who are involved in the NOVAdance events, are very dedicated to the cause for this very reason. 

“NOVAdance is important to us for many reasons,” Frimel and McGrail said. “First and foremost, for our Heroes and for all the kids fighting pediatric cancer. We believe every child should be able to have a normal childhood, free from sickness and hospital stays and fear. NOVAdance raises awareness and money, but more importantly, provides light and hope for families going through such scary and uncertain times.” 

As the semester progresses, it will be exciting to see more fundraising events pop up on campus for NOVAdance, as well as to see how the hard work of the Sidekicks and committee culminate in the upcoming dance marathon.