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Hatterthon Represents Stetson University at Dance Marathon Leadership Conference

This year, some of our CMN Team Members as well as some students from Hatterthon, Stetson University’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon, attended CMN Hospitals’ annual Dance Marathon Leadership Conference. Hatterthon completed its first Miracle Network Dance Marathon in February 2017 and is eager to kick off their second-year raising funds for Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

After attending her first Dance Marathon Leadership Conference, we chatted with Hatterthon’s current Executive Director,  Tatum Caroll, to get her thoughts on the conference.

How was your experience at your first ever DMLC?

Being a second year program, the three of us (Hatterthon’s Management Team) felt slightly intimidated going into the conference, as we would be one of the few brand-new DM’s in attendance. However, we quickly felt at home once we arrived. We were surrounded by 800 other students who had the same passion as us. There were students representing million-dollar Dance Marathon programs, and there were new programs like us who had raised just a fraction of that. We had to remember that those numbers, large or small, ALL go to CMN hospitals and, therefore; we were only inspired to keep pushing for the kids.

Can you share more about the conference activities and what you learned?

Each day, we attended informational sessions that provided us with tools, knowledge, and inspiration to take home to our programs and make this year the best yet. Since we are such a new program, we had to take some time after each day to meet with our hospital advisor and really dive deeper into the information we had learned and digest everything. We had heard so many amazing ideas from the speakers and students from other programs, but we had to focus on what we could realistically do with Hatterthon this year. We decided that we needed to lay  the groundwork, and start with the basics in order for Hatterthon to grow in the coming years.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned?

DMLC was absolutely incredible for many reasons, but what I loved most was that it resurfaced my “why.” Being around so many selfless, passionate, dedicated people reminded me that no matter how many numbers we raise on our event day, each and every penny goes to the kids who, with our help, can take a part in Hatterthon in 10 years. DMLC also helped me with my “how,” as in HOW are we, as an executive team, going to execute Hatterthon in a way that will ignite a movement within our campus and community. I feel SO blessed to have been given this valuable experience, and I am ready to bring home this knowledge (and a notebook full of notes) to my wonderful executive team. DMLC reignited my passion FTK, and gave me the tools necessary to take Hatterthon to the next level. I am already looking forward to DMLC next summer!