Bishop O’Connell High School students will be dancing for 12 hours straight to raise money for the research and treatment of cystic fibrosis.
The nearly 50-year-old tradition, dubbed the “Superdance,” will take place on Saturday, March 11 from noon to midnight. Each year, over 95% of the student body attends the event, which has live bands, DJs and games.
“This is a beloved school tradition created in the hopes of finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and in remembrance of several members of the O’Donnell family who died from the disease,” said Lizzie Whelan, the publicity chair for the Superdance.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs in the body and leads to an early death. A therapeutic drug approved in 2019 can help patients avoid lung failure and live longer.
But no such therapy existed in 1976, when the first 12-hour dance-a-thon was organized by Maura O’Donnell, then a senior at Bishop O’Connell. She put it together in hopes of raising enough money to find a cure after her sister Brenda died of the disease in 1975.
Maura, who also had cystic fibrosis, attended the first Superdance and graduated high school, but died from the disease while in nursing school.
She is remembered as “a vibrant young girl, who left an impact on every person that had the pleasure of meeting her,” Whelan said.
“Maura created a monumental impact on the student body that has lasted forty years and will continue to influence O’Connell students in the future,” Whelan said. “The entire Bishop O’Connell is dedicated to supporting this cause and continuing the fight that Maura so bravely started.”
Since its inception, Superdance has raised nearly $4.9 million to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis. This year, Whelan says the students aim to raise over $143,000 and pass the $5 million mark. Last year, the Superdance raised $136,000, making Bishop O’Connell is the largest high school contributor to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
An assembly previewing the event and educating students about cystic fibrosis will be held this Friday, Feb. 10. It will feature speeches from the student council, presentations from student committees, guest speakers, skits and games. At the end of the assembly, this year’s theme for Superdance will be revealed.
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Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3-7.
Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.
Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.
Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.
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District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference
District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve