Huskython 2012. Every year it gets BETTER and BETTER.
We truly look forward to this event EVERY year, ALL of us. For Arnie to give up his birthday willingly says a lot about how much it means to us.
To start, Huskython is an 18 hour dance marathon run by UCONN students. All proceeds go directly to the CT Children’s Medical Center. The event is held on campus at the Field House. It starts at 6pm and goes until 12:00PM the next day.
This year we had to get a bit creative, as Maddie had a basketball game in Southington at 3pm and we had to be at the Family Dinner in Storrs by 4PM. Arnie took Maddie to basketball and met us up on campus after. Olivia and I checked into the hotel early (www.nathanhaleinn.com). She was a bit bummed that the pool was being refurbished. Once I pulled out Netflix on the laptop, there was no more complaining.
Prior to arrival, we were presented with a schedule of events for the entire 18 hours PLUS a list of the themes for each hour of the dance a thon. The themes included Husky Pride, and Disney among others. Olivia LOVES to dress up, so we packed her outfits for all the hours we could possibly be there for. At this point we can make it until 11PM before heading back tot he hotel.
Olivia and I packed her bag and walked to the Student Union, where the family dinner was held. This was a big improvement in location over past years as we could walk from the hotel AND it was directly across the street from the Field House. We didn’t feel rushed and the timing of dinner vs when we had to be across the street was perfect.
They lined us up to go across the street in a particular order. Katie P, UCONN Student, Delta Gamma member, and Family Relations Director for Huskython walked us over. Olivia was first and held Katie’s hand. The family entrance into the Field House was THE BEST in the 4 years we’ve been attending. I thought my heart would burst from all the love we felt walking in there. I don’t want it to seem that we didn’t appreciate every other entrance, just that this year’s was unreal. I don’t know how they can top it, short of fireworks HA! I will add a video shortly, but they had 1700 students creating a pathway for us to walk in the field house. They opened the door, and it was pandemonium. Students SCREAMING, pep band playing, DJ playing music and the emcee announcing each child. It was EVERYTHING I could do not to cry. I cannot imagine how overwhelming it was for Liv. All the families were in tears after the entrance.
New this year was a “Fast Pass” which was a great touch. The kids were given a “fast pass” to skip ANY line at any time. So no waiting an hour for the bounce house, or even FOOD! They really made sure the kids felt like celebrities.
We are truly blessed to be matched with Delta Gamma every year. Not only do they shower Olivia with gifts, but they ALWAYS remember Maddie. The girls were super excited to get all their gifts, but the most special item for both was a sailor hat with their names on it. This is something Delta Gamma does for their “sisters” once they become members of the sorority, so it was a very special gift we will treasure forever. Arnie and I have been laughing that Olivia is going to walk into that sorority house in 10 years and say “I’m here, where do I put my stuff?”. She truly believes she’s a DG girl :).
I say this every year and every year I forget. It gets SO HOT in the field house and we really need to remember to lay the clothing and bring capri’s / shorts for the kids.
During every hour a family would share their story about CT Children’s Medical Center. New this year, the students would get down on one knee to honor the family and show respect. It was VERY moving to see them all like that. Olivia spoke during the 17th hour of the event. She was a bit nervous, but there were 1700 people kneeling there, listening to her. She did a great job and I was so proud of her.
The students ended up raising over $304,000 for the hospital. This is now the second biggest fundraiser the Medical Center has and it’s now in the top 10 for dance marathons for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
We cannot WAIT for Huskython 2013.
Published April 10, 2012, but backdated to February 19, 2012 for historical purposes