DUBUQUE, Iowa — Loras College Dance Marathon (LCDM) has earned Champions of Service Award during a ceremony at the college marking the countrywide Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service. In addition, Dana Livingston, Ph.D., associate professor of modern languages and culture at Loras, was nominated for the award.
Loras College Dance Marathon supports local families whose children have been treated at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
“We are so fortunate to be located in a supportive community,” Rachel Moser, a senior and current co-president of LCDM. “That really is the reason that we can continuously be successful year after year.”
Loras College Dance Marathon has been recognized nationally as the No. 1 per-capita fundraising school since 2009. Now in its 11th year, the student-run event has raised more than $1.3 million for the Children’s Miracle Network and the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Last year, the organization raised $201,717. This year’s 12-hour marathon is April 29.
Maggie Baker, service learning coordinator at Loras, works directly with LCDM students enrolled in AmeriCorps and is continuously amazed by their work.
“Since 2008, more than 100 members have served more than 50,000 hours to support local children and families while they have faced great triumphs and challenges associated with health conditions that require long-term hospital stays,” she said. “Loras College Dance Marathon AmeriCorps members have led efforts to contribute to inspire thousands of other youth volunteers to fulfill a one-million-dollar pledge to the children’s hospital.”
The 50,000 hours the students have served is currently valued at more than an additional $1 million by the Independent Sector, a national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good.
“AmeriCorps really drives the importance and need of service to many of our students, myself included,” Moser said.
Livingston was nominated for his Future Talk Teen Empowerment Program at the Multicultural Family Center, Dubuque. The initiative combines summer employment, environmental education and service for at-risk youth, ages 13 to 17. They also receive a stipend, study financial literacy and can earn a high school credit with the Dubuque Community School District.
“While the relationships between the people are starting to fade away, it is even more apparent that the relationship between the people and the land is diminishing,” he said. “With Future Talk, we really try to bridge that gap and educate the Dubuque area.”
Last year, 3,539 elected officials representing more than 178 million Americans participated in the fourth-annual Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service.
ABOUT LORAS COLLEGE
Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.