The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


EagleTHON kicks off for charity at USM

Kennedi Drake
EagleTHON was hosted at Spirit Park to raise money for the children of Blair E. Batson’s Children’s Hospital.

In the heart of Jackson, Mississippi, amidst the bustling streets and vibrant culture, a movement of compassion and community flourished. EagleTHON’s Dance Marathon, an annual event, emerged as a beacon of hope for the children of Blair E. Batson’s Children’s Hospital. This fundraiser, orchestrated by dedicated volunteers and supported by enthusiastic participants, aimed not only to raise funds but to ignite a sense of purpose and unity within the community.

The scene was set at a bustling venue, alive with the energy of excitement and anticipation. A colorful tent, adorned with posters detailing the event’s purpose and activities, served as the epicenter of the festivities. Within its confines, fast-paced music reverberated, setting the stage for a day of joyful celebration and giving.

Among the attractions were an array of engaging activities and board games, catering to participants of all ages and interests. From the strategic maneuvers of Scrabble to the physical challenges of Twister, from the suspense of Jenga to the strategic play of Connect 4, there was something for everyone to enjoy. The atmosphere buzzed with laughter and camaraderie as friends and families came together to partake in the festivities.

At the heart of EagleTHON’s mission lay a deep commitment to supporting the children and families served by Blair E. Batson’s Hospital. With this in mind, a raffle for a Raising Cane’s gift basket was organized, offering an enticing array of prizes including a cooler, plush toys, a shirt, notepad, and a koozie. The rules were simple yet impactful: every donation to the hospital earned participants entries into the raffle, with $1 equating to one entry, $3 to five entries, and $5 to ten entries. This innovative approach not only encouraged generosity but also provided a tangible incentive for donors to contribute.

The significance of EagleTHON’s efforts extended beyond mere fundraising. Children’s Miracle Network Specialist, Madison Stephens, shed light on the profound impact of the funds raised.

“We’re raising funds for a new playground at the hospital and angel cameras,” she said. “These cameras are for the NICU, allowing parents to keep a watchful eye on their precious babies.”

This poignant reminder underscored the vital role EagleTHON played in enhancing the lives of young patients and their families, providing comfort and support during challenging times.

Reflecting on the success of previous years, Zack Wallace, President of EagleTHON and a student at the University of Southern Mississippi, expressed his pride and gratitude.
“Last year, we raised more than $800,” he remarked. “That money went directly to Blair E. Batson’s Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, and made a meaningful difference in the lives of those it serves.”

Zack’s words encapsulated the essence of EagleTHON—a testament to the power of collective action and the profound impact of compassion and generosity.

In conclusion, EagleTHON’s Dance Marathon stands as a shining example of the transformative potential of community-driven initiatives. Through its unwavering commitment to supporting Blair E. Batson’s Children’s Hospital, EagleTHON not only raised vital funds but also fostered a sense of unity, compassion, and hope within the community. As participants danced, played, and gave with open hearts, they illuminated the path toward a brighter future for the children and families in need.

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