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West honors East student through dance marathon

The West Jessamine High School Dance Team is gearing up for their annual DanceBlue mini-marathon. This year, the marathon will be in honor of Kylee Tyson, an East Jessamine High School sophomore who has a rare form of leukemia.

“We just thought that it would tie the community together because she goes to East,” said Allie Holt, a senior at West. “We didn’t want people at East to think that it was just for West students because it was at West.”

Holt, who has filled the executive chair position for the DanceBlue Committee for the past year, has been a member since it began four years ago. She and two others, senior Marley Woods and junior Amber Adams, lead the team consisting of 21 members.

So far, the committee has hosted several different fundraisers, including pancake breakfasts, selling Old Kentucky chocolate bars, having a tip jar and recently hosting a bake sale at the East and West basketball game this past Friday.

Next week, there will be a competition between the classes at West Jessamine High to see which class can bring in the most pocket change to fill boxes that will be put in each room. At the end of the week, the winner will receive a prize, Holt said.

The mini-marathon, which lasts eight hours, is based on The University of Kentucky’s 24-hour marathon that raises money for pediatric cancer.

Though it is labeled a dance marathon, there will be much more than just dancing. The night will also consist of door prizes, along with basketball, volleyball and cornhole tournaments. Food and drinks will be provided. The dancer fee is $20 per person and includes a T-Shirt.

For the first two years, the mini-DanceBlue Marathon raised around $1,000. Last year the event raised $3,000 overall. Holt said this year the team is looking to make an even bigger impact,

“Our goal this year is at least $5,000,” she said.

All the funds raised will be given to the Golden Matrix fund, which benefits children at the University of Kentucky’s Pediatric Oncology Clinic and the research that is conducted there.

The DanceBlue mini-marathon will occur from 12 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 4 in the West Jessamine High School gymnasium.

Those who are unable to attend, but still wish to donate, can do so by either donating food, drinks or gift cards for the event. Money can also be donated to the DanceBlue GoFundMe account at http://bit.ly/2jZnvsz. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing East and West come together for a cause,” Holt said. “And just to raise money that will help kids within our community.”