Ftk

Over 200 dancers, 20 families and 100 volunteers gathered for the FTK Dance Marathon on Saturday, April 12 from 9 a.m – 9 p.m. at the Convocation Center. “Be brave… stand up for 12 hours,” Andrew Linares, For the Kids (FTK) executive overall chairperson, told his 17 leaders. By fundraising year-round, FTK raised over $50,000 for childhood cancer, which went directly to the FTK children and their families.

The dance marathon is an event organized by FTK, San Antonio’s largest student-run non-profit organization. As an awareness and fundraising event, the FTK Dance Marathon was a showcase of the members’ efforts.

The dance marathon started off hand-in-hand with the Tunnel of Love. The participants were then divided into four teams, each with a different color, that they played with throughout the event.

UTSA’s SAPNA (an Indian dance group), Filipino Student Association, pom squad, the football team and the women’s basketball team danced on stage to entertain students and the children. Country singer Ty Dillion and UTSA band Bird Mode performed at the dance marathon.

UTSA students and family members played life-sized “UTSA-opoly,” Scrabble, Checkers, Jumbling Towers, football and volleyball for 12 consecutive hours.

Students were also able to play with jumbo-sized Twister and life-sized, non-alcoholic beer pong.

The UTSA Women’s Basketball team danced on stage while the participants followed their steps. FTK volunteers also entertained children with Iron Man and Captain America characters.

“It is amazing,” Linares explained. “We worked hard year-round. Cancer can’t kill (the children’s) spirits.” For the future, Linares hopes to expand FTK beyond UTSA and into San Antonio.

UTSA Athletes also played dodgeball with the children.

“It has been very fun,” said Aleera Barrera, junior kinesiology major. “My favorite part was donating my hair.”

This year’s theme was “Be Brave,” which was symbolized by a medieval knight. Locks of Love participated in the event; students were ‘brave’ for the children and donated their hair, which will be used to make wigs for cancer victims.

During family hour, various families spoke passionately about their experiences with cancer and how it affected their family.

The Magnificent Andy Boy was introduced during family hour. Andy Boy is a 6-year-old fighting Osteosarcoma and Lung Cancer. He danced along with Iron Man and Captain America and showed every attendant that he can be the same as any other little kid in town. To learn more about him, visit: facebook.com/magnificent.andy.

FTK donations can be made at danceforthekids.org/donate/

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