B+ Foundation prepares annual dance marathon, a fight against cancer



Mikaela Krim

It’s that time of year again—NOVAdance season. Those new to the Villanova community might have noticed the bright, colorful shirts, emblazoned with a “B+” sign wrapped in a circle. The initiative might be year-round, but excitement heightens each spring as we inch closer to its crowning event—the annual dance marathon.  This year, prepare to lace up and get down from dawn until dusk this Saturday, March 25 in Jake Nevin. If past events have been any indication, the crowds are sure to be loud and the energy palpable. Last year the packed 12-hour event earned more than 167,000 dollars for B+ and drew a crowd of 871.

There’s good reason for the steady increase in attendance, support and success that NOVAdance has garnered around campus. All year round, members of the NOVAdance committee work at forming teams and raising money for the annual event, which is now in its fourth year. 

 The spring dance-a-thon, which calls participants to dance throughout the entire 12-hour event, emerged in 2013 from a collaboration between Sigma Nu fraternity and Delta Delta Delta sorority. It has greatly expanded and now includes a full roster of registered teams. Many local families register themselves as well and lend the event a healthy range of demographics. 

The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation was founded in 2007 in memory of McDonough, who lost his battle to leukemia at the age of 14.  Its mission—per the foundation’s website, bepositive.org—is to provide financial assistance to families of children with cancer, fund research in pursuit of a cure, increase awareness and spread a positive message. The organization now organizes events for solo participants and schools across the country.

  Within the NOVAdance committee are various subgroups that help streamline their internal efficiency. First-years have a chance to join the freshman-only Sidekick program. Beyond that, there are numerous options both for those seeking leadership positions and those merely wanting to stay involved. The Morale Committee, for example, is a specialized group that generates enthusiasm for the annual event. Referred to as the “hype team,” members of the Morale Committee bring “excitement and positivity to our Heroes, their families, and Villanova’s campus, making NOVAdance an unforgettable day for everyone involved,” co-executive director Antonio Renaldo said..         At the dance, don’t be surprised if you find yourself getting down with one of the NOVAdance heroes themselves—last year crowds loved watching hero Danny ball out with some of our Villanova basketball players.

“It doesn’t matter what your level of involvement is, there’s something for everyone,” NOVAdance Publicity Chair Emily Rozansky said. Whether that be the lip-syncing competition or themed music hours, few people attend the dance-a-thon and leave without a smile on their face. 

 One of the event’s peak moments comes at the revealing of the numbers—even members of the committee remain in the dark as to the true sum they’ve accrued until it is dramatically unveiled on the day of NOVAdance.  “

 At the end of the day, we’re all extremely passionate about raising money to help children with cancer,” Rozansky said “I’m pretty sure last year when we did the number reveal, all of committee just started crying because we beat our goal.” That goal was 167,000 dollars, symbolic of the 167 days Andrew McDonough fought before he lost his life to cancer. It’s no surprise that committee members found themselves in tears after hearing that they raised more than double the amount raised in NOVAdance’s inaugural year. 

NOVAdance strives to reach new highs every year. For the first time ever, 2017’s event will feature a theme: Dare to Dream.