Saving the Day at the 2023 Jag-A-Thon

Marissa Levinson, Arts & Entertainment Editor

   On Saturday, May 5th, students among the Pines Charter high school and middle schools joined forces to support a good cause at Dance Marathon’s annual Jag-A-Thon. Cars pulled up to the West Campus middle school and prepared to not only commemorate, but also further the achievements made by the DM club this past year.

   It all began at the west middle school—and when current co-Presidents, juniors Sebi Reyes-Farinas and Isabella Chavez, made their way to the high school, so did the club. Isabella describes Dance Marathon as a PPCS club that was established to raise money for “Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to assist children with medical disparities.” 

   The junior recounts the role she played in putting this event together, as it “required a lot of details surrounding our theme of Superheroes.” This commitment entailed “designing decorations, shirts, and games around this theme.” She takes pride in the result of the event and the club itself, claiming it as something “[she] could truly call [hers].”

   Red t-shirts that read “All heroes don’t wear capes,” along with platters of delicious food, various activities, miracle stories, and endless dancing were among the event’s scenes. Anyone who attended could feel the warm atmosphere as soon as they turned the corner to enter. Included in the $10 entry ticket, which goes directly to the cause, attendees were able to engage in various events from 11a.m. to 4p.m. 

   Of all the activities and events throughout the memorable day, the one with undoubtedly the greatest substance was the miracle stories. Each of the speakers described how grateful they are for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and expressed why this club is important to them. All three different speakers and three different stories from people who personally survived and continue to reveal their true resilience with various medical struggles came to the stage, leaving attendees sitting in awe in the audience.

   Pines Charter junior and Dance Marathon Vice President, Lauren Castillo, has also grown an everlasting connection with this club, as she has proudly been a contributing member since her days at the middle school. “It’s been so special for me because I truly feel like I’ve found a community within Dance Marathon while getting the opportunity to help others.” 

   Castillo’s personal favorite part of the day was “when everyone played tug of war together.” This wasn’t because of the game itself, but rather the fact that “it really brought the club together and was the perfect chance for all of us to enjoy a moment together,” further demonstrating what this club is all about. 

   By the end of the day, $5,261 was raised, and lives were changed.

  After experiencing the stories, purpose, and immense dedication of the club, it’s clear that the Jag-A-Thon is about more than just dancing, and it holds a special place in members’ and attendees’ hearts alike. “It’s such a great cause, and I would love to see it get more recognition and participation next year because it really is an amazing club,” Lauren Castillo emphasizes.