2022 raiseRED dance marathon raises over $500,000 Monday, Feb 28 2022 

By Tate Luckey —

All 1000 raiseRED dancers performing the line dance at raiseRED 2022.

raiseRED’s 2022 dance marathon fundraised $524,895.22 over the weekend for pediatric cancer research and treatment. While this was more than last year’s total of $507,000, it was clear that the event was about more than just money.

“Even if we raised $5,000, it’s still more than what Kosair had planned for their budget. The numeric amount raised doesn’t matter,” said Aysha Puzhakkaraillath, sponsorship coordinator for raiseRED.

Among those present to speak at the event included Interim President Lori Gonzalez, numerous professors and faculty and Patrick McSweeny, a junior in the school of nursing who battled Leukemia at the age of 5.

“I survived, but it comes with a cost. I lost so much weight, my lungs are affected; the point is, we need better treatments, and we need to be able to give the kids life after cancer. I’m probably one of the lucky ones, as crazy as it sounds. The reality of cancer is that not everyone makes it. The people that do still have issues that affect them for the rest of their lives,” he said.

A dancer at raiseRED shaves his head for pediatric oncology research.

The top fundraising student organizations were the Indian Student Association (3rd place), SOAR (2nd place) and Porter Scholars (1st place). The top fraternities included Phi Delta Theta (3rd), Sigma Phi Epsilon (2nd) and Sigma Chi (1st). The top sororities were Chi Omega (3rd), Kappa Delta (2nd) and Pi Beta Phi (1st). Among the top colleges were the J.B Speed School of Engineering (3rd), the College of Business (2nd) and the School of Nursing (1st).

“I’m exhausted, but the work has been worth it. A lot of money has been raised for a good cause. This effort has been months leading into what we have, but this was such a strong last push. All 18 hours have been what this is all about,” Sigma Chi member Ethan Shain said.

raiseRED has opened up applications to be on their Executive Board of Directors for 2023, which close Mar. 5. Applications to be an Executive Board Coordinator open on Mar. 20. If you’d like to donate to raiseRED, you can do so here.

File Photos // The Louisville Cardinal //

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RaiseRED aims to return to form ahead of 2022 dance marathon Friday, Feb 25 2022 

By Tate Luckey — 

RaiseRED is the University of Louisville’s largest student-run philanthropic organization, supporting the pediatric clinical and medical research efforts at the University of Louisville. Half of the donations from raiseRED directly benefit the research of the University of Louisville School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Hematology and Oncology.

The other 50% goes to the Norton Children’s Cancer Institute to provide services for the children and their families going through treatment.

To become a dancer, students had to register online and raise $200 by February 24th. If they raised over $1000, raiseRED would match up to $500 of the amount. Merchandise, including a cool sand-colored “Louisville, Kentucky” hoodie and “Kids Can’t Wait” beanies, can also be bought online here.

What’s Different This Year

Executive Director DeAsia King described how the event differs from last year. “Due to COVID-19, raiseRED was more of a hybrid format – split across the week for around 3 hours every day, with a virtual option too. Now we’re back in person – 18 hours total, meaning we start at 6 pm on Friday, up until the total reveal at 12 pm on that Saturday,” she said. 

Photo: raisered.org

Drew Grimm, one of the two programming directors for raiseRED and junior chemical engineering major, detailed some of the more exciting events planned.

We have three exciting Themed Hours planned for this year’s marathon including a “University of Louisville Athletics Hour” where our dancers and kids all dress up in jerseys and athletics gear to play dodgeball, sing Karaoke, and participate in trivia! We also have a “Pajama Party Hour“, where, similarly, our dancers will dress in their PJs while they participate in the Price is Right, learn the Line Dance, and have their midnight snack! Finally, we have our “Through the Decades Hour,” which is presented by UPS where dancers will wear their best 70s, 80s or 90s gear and rock out to some decades music, play laser tag, volleyball, corn hole and more.” 

Additionally, Alani Nu is sponsoring a silent disco, and several university representatives, clinic workers and doctors will share their connection with raiseRED and how our organization has impacted them through the 18 hours. 

The Impact

Photo: raiseRED.org

While Grimm has only been to one marathon, the impact the experience had on him was immense. “I loved watching the smiles on these kids’ faces as they danced and sang their hearts out during the Kid Talent Show! It was during this moment that I knew I had to get more involved in this organization. I now have 2 Cardinal Crew buddies and they are my pride and joy and my motivation for all the work I put into this organization each day!”

For fundraising coordinator Katie Hayden, counting up the total during the Week of Hope campaign with Valerie Tran, the finance director, was super exciting. “We raised over 50k,” she said. King ended up starting a smaller version of the marathon at Charlestown High School, her alma mater, alongside her two sisters. “Helping plant the seed there, to me, is very fulfilling,” she said. 

RaiseRED has raised over $3 million in the past 7 years. If you’d like to learn more and donate, you can do so here.

File Photos // raiseRED // 

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raiseRED to host virtual dance marathon in February Thursday, Jan 21 2021 

By Grace Welsh —

The University of Louisville’s largest student-led philanthropic event is looking a little different this year. For the first time ever, raiseRED will be held completely virtually in order to remain within COVID-19 guidelines.

Traditionally an 18-hour dance marathon, the event will be broken up over six days throughout the week of Feb. 15. Each day’s event will consist of guest speakers and interactive events like trivia and games. The week concludes on Saturday, Feb. 20, when a closing ceremony will be held, during which, the organization will reveal of the amount of money raised.

Last year, raiseRED was able to raise over $690,000 to benefit pediatric cancer research.

raiseRED has touched the hearts of many in the last five years, raising over 3 million dollars for Norton’s Cancer Institute and U of L’s School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. raiseRED also initiates mentorship programs between students and children, which allows students to make more of a direct and long-lasting impact on the families. According to the raiseRED website, the money goes directly towards funding those departments and the families in need.

“raiseRED, in my opinion, is the single most important organization tied to U of L,” said Team Leader Manu Nair. Nair is one of the hundreds of U of L students who have been working for the past year to ensure successful fundraising this year.

“Unless you have personally gone through this struggle, people don’t know how hard it can be to watch your child battle cancer,” Nair said. “We are fighting for them as they already have an immense battle to fight themselves.”

Ashley Correl, is a freshman who is participating in the event for the first time. “I can already feel that everyone is so excited to get involved. It inspires so many others to join in on raising money,” she said.

raiseRED participants can still join on behalf of an organization (such as athletics, the Indian Student Association, Porter Scholars, ELSB, Greek life) or they can join on an individual basis.

Students who raise $200 by Feb. 15 will be paired with a team of other dancers and given the opportunity to participate in interactive events. Fundraising requires a bit of creativity, with many members doing things like social media games and clothing/bake sales.

While being virtual may hinder some interpersonal connections, raiseRED is about helping those in need, Ruby Young, raiseRed’s student outreach coordinator, said.

“I think this year more than ever, people will realize how much help these kids and their families need. COVID-19 impacted them in ways we could never imagine.”

For more information on how you can make a difference, visit the raiseRED Facebook page or their Instagram.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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What to expect for Spring 2021 Monday, Jan 18 2021 

By Aaliyah Bryant —

The University of Louisville is starting out the new year with classes resuming but still with COVID-19 limitations. However, these limitations haven’t stopped many events from happening last semester so, we can assume the same won’t happen this semester.

This year, students are still looking forward to raiseRED, rush week, and plenty of U of L events. Whether they are in-person, socially distanced with masks or virtual meetings, students are ready for the events coming their way. So without further ado, let’s introduce the events that are still going on this semester.

First things first, raiseRED. RaiseRED is an 18-hour dance marathon to raise awareness for the children, families, and doctors fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders. The organization raises money for a fundraiser and donates 50% of those funds to the U of L School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Hematology and Oncology and the other 50% to the Norton Children’s Cancer Institute affiliated with the U of L School of Medicine. The annual event might happen a bit differently this year due to Covid-19. It is unclear how they would do this event without violating the Covid-19 limitations, but raiseRED is still fundraising the money just fine according to their donor wall.

Every semester there is a fraternity and sorority rush week. Pre-rush events for the pledging of 2021 have been happening since December 2020 and ended on January 17th. These events gave you an option to rush in-person or virtually. Recruitment will be on January 18-20. The chapters will be hosted virtually from Microsoft Teams from 6-9 pm. Students are welcome to attend as many or as
few of the chapters as they please. On January 21, there will be a bid card signing where students will choose their chapter and meet other students from their class.

Last year when COVID-19 was starting to spread, sports events were canceled. One of these events was the NCAA March Madness Tournament. Fans and students were really upset by this, especially since the Louisville Cardinals were having a great season last year. They had a record of 24-7 and were number 2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This year, they are number 3 in the ACC with a record of 9-2 so far. The NCAA Tournament has no plans of canceling; however, they are reducing the traveling. This means the entirety of the tournament will be held in Indianapolis.

Despite COVID, plenty of events will be held here at U of L with the right safety precautions, including virtual meetings or requiring masks/being socially distant. The following events going on are faculty administered: COVID-19 vaccination, Creative Writing Group, Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, and many more.

Everyone is patiently waiting for things to return to normal; however, with the right precautions, students will be able to do the things they love and continue to go on through the pandemic.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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RaiseRED surpasses fundraising goal in their “Week of $20k” Tuesday, Nov 24 2020 

By Katie Volpentesta —

On Nov. 21, RaiseRED concluded their annual “Week of $20k,” a week full of virtual events to encourage fundraising and registration for the 2021 raiseRED Dance Marathon. The members of raiseRED’s executive board revealed via social media that dancers and committee members had surpassed this goal, raising $26,591.47.

RaiseRED is a year long fundraising effort that culminates in an 18-hour dance marathon, with all proceeds benefiting the Norton Children’s Cancer Institute and the U of L Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology. In raiseRED’s five year history at U of L, over 3 million dollars has been raised for pediatric cancer and blood disease patient care and research.

While nothing is set in stone regarding the layout of the 2021 dance marathon, which takes place on February 26, raiseRED is working harder than ever to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer and blood disease.

During the last week, raiseRED organized a blood drive in the Red Barn, a virtual Family Feud event, a virtual talent show and a virtual 1.8 mile run.

In previous years, raiseRED was able to get the attention of new dancers during in-person events and tabling around campus, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all events and outreach have been moved online.

“[We were] trying to make these events still engaging,” Benny Gerdes, raiseRED’s internal projects coordinator, said. “With the talent show, we wanted to make sure it was concise and appealing, and with facilitating the Family Feud groups, we had to make sure sure everyone was on board virtually since we had so many games going on at once.”

While the move to virtual events this week came with challenges, there were silver linings.

“I got a chance to watch alongside a bunch of people and talk in the GroupMe,” said Trey Breen, raiseRED’s analytics coordinator. “We also invited cardinal buddies—there was an opportunity for the kids that we support to watch and feel like they’re a part of the organization as well, and it’s fun for the kids to interact with the students.”

Even with all of the uncertainty surrounding February’s marathon, raiseRED’s executive board and committee looks forward to working alongside the dancers to raise as much money as possible and strengthen the community of support for the kids.

“I think what I look forward to the most is the sense of community again. I think everyone kind of needs a win during this pandemic and year,” Breen said.

To keep up with raiseRED or to learn more about registering and fundraising, follow @raisered_uofl on Instagram and Twitter.

Photo by Katie Volpentesta // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L introduces new student ticket system, Flight 23 Thursday, Aug 29 2019 

By Matthew Keck–

University of Louisville students will have a new option for getting entrance into sports games starting this fall.

U of L athletics introduced a new ticket subscription service, Flight 23, that will only cost students $10 a month. This will allow students entrance to every regular season home game for any sport, including men’s basketball and football. Flight 23 will replace the old system of student season tickets.

Erika Fitzgerald, director of ticket operations at U of L, said that there is room for 1200 students to sign up for Flight 23 but that number can fluctuate. She said this system is first come first serve and that a student may not get tickets if a game sells out or they claim their ticket late.

Flight 23’s introduction will also be saving students money on tickets. Before, students could purchase season tickets for men’s basketball and football for $210. This saves students over $100 a year, and gains them entrance into other sporting events aside from basketball and football.

As a part of Flight 23’s membership, students must keep their membership for a minimum of 10 months. If they decide to cancel their membership early they will be charged with a fee that can range from $10 to $90 depending on how early they cancel.

One of the perks students get with this membership is being eligible to enroll in the Student Cardinal Athletic Fund. When enrolled in SCAF students will receive priority seating and will accumulate priority points at double the rate of donors.

U of L athletics has also partnered with raiseRED, a philanthropic organization at U of L that raises awareness for pediatric cancer and blood disease. They are donating $2 for each student that attends football games and $1 for men’s basketball. The total donations can reach up to $10,000 for football and $20,000 for basketball.

Men’s basketball and football tickets will be distributed through the claim on the Cards Mobile App game-by-game. Tickets for all other sporting events will be distributed first come first serve at the games with a student ID.

Students can see a seating arrangements and more details about the reward program at GoCards.com/Students.

Matthew Keck // The Louisville Cardinal 

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