This past weekend, 13 brothers of the Alpha Zeta Cook Chapter participated in this year's Dance Marathon (many more volunteered!). We raised over $6000 for the Embrace Kids foundation and continue to raise money for it.
Dance Marathon isn't just a 32-hour long event where dancers can't sit or sleep.. each participant raised over $350 for their team and worked together to stay strong for the kids. The Embrace Kids foundation benefits families of children who suffer from cancer or blood disorders. We got to meet many of the families who benefited directly from Embrace Kids and Dance Marathon and it was a truly inspiring event. Getting to meet these kids and hear their stories made all of our efforts worth it.
It was a long 32 hours, but being with our fellow brothers made all the difference. New members, current brothers, and alumni all visited and showed their support and lifted our spirits when we got tired (eg. 8:00 in the morning after being awake on your feet for 22 hours straight makes you grow a little delirious). "Club DM" took place between 12-3AM, where the entire gym turned into a giant club, and tickets were sold to Rutgers Students to raise even more money for the cause. After things died down, the dancers went back to playing games like giant Jenga and Connect Four. Rutgers did a great job making the dancers as entertained and as comfortable as possible during the entire weekend.
I'm proud to say I'm a brother of the Cook Chapter. Many of us dance in memory of Michael J. Congiusta, a brother who pledged in Fall 2009. At the age of 14, he was diagnosed with Lukemia and fought through it with the help of the Embrace Kids Foundation. In Spring of 2010, he had relapsed and had to be admitted into the hospital for the semester. On March 10, 2010, we learned that sadly, Mike had passed away. Though he is no longer with us in person, he is always with us in spirit. He had the brightest personality out of all the brothers I knew and always gave 100%. Mike was part of the pledge committee as a brother and would get all of the new members pumped about Alpha Zeta. Throughout the years, we will still keep memories of him alive and strong.
Cook Chapter keeps on dancing, no matter how hard things get.
The YouTube link above is a little documentary I put together for our DM weekend. Hope everyone enjoys it!