The girls at Nazareth Academy High School organized another successful Naz-A-Thon on Friday, raising $166,237.47 for the Child Life and Oncology departments at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Erin Murray was the Senior Executive of Operations for the eighth Naz-A-Thon, which began in 2014 and is held in the gym. COVID canceled the student-run, 12-hour dance marathon in 2020 and ‘21.
“It’s great because it’s such a fun event but for a bigger cause and with a deeper meaning,” said Murray, a senior who was celebrating her 18th birthday on Friday.
Over the years, Naz-A-Thon has raised more than $1 million. Math teacher Cheryl Sylvester has been the moderator from the start, but Naz-A-Thon is a student-run event.
“Miss Sylvester moderates, and we pretty much do everything else,” said Murray, who attended the dance marathon when she was a student at Nazareth Academy Grade School.
Sylvester was impressed that the girls were able to secure 52 sponsors at $500 or more, along with a $10,000 gold sponsorship from Sheet Metal Workers Local 19.
“They’re doing an incredible job,” she said. “They’ve surpassed my expectations. They’ve gone above and beyond. The kids do it all ‘4 the Kids.’ ”
The executive board for this year’s event was selected last May, and the girls got to work in the summer. They held a Night at the Phillies in September; organized dine-outs at Friendly’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Three Monkeys Cafe; joined with Holy Ghost Prep for a 3-on-3 basketball tournament; and secured T-shirt sponsors.
School spirit was in the air from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with the girls dressed in colorful outfits. The marathon featured music, a lip sync battle, Irish dancing, food trucks, basket raffles, a 50/50, T-shirt and bracelet sales, face painting, dodgeball, cornhole and visits by CHOP “miracle” families. For $2, the girls had a chance to smash a whipped cream pie into the faces of teachers. ••