Leon High School awarded the 2020 Best Dance Marathon in the country

Published: Jul. 11, 2020 at 11:47 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Leon High School’s Dance Marathon fundraiser back in February raised thousands of dollars earning them a prestigious award. The students say they’re excited to be able to be making a difference in the world.

“It’s so humbling to know that like you’re a part of something that’s way bigger than yourself,” said Leon High student Grace Kerwin.

Kerwin describes what it was like to be a part of Leon High’s 2020 Dance Marathon which raised over $130,000 dollars. These funds go to Shands Hospital to help people like her who have rare diseases like Juvenile Dermatomyositis.

“JDM is an autoimmune disease and my immune system doesn’t recognize my muscles or my skin as part of my body,” explains Kerwin. “So instead it fights my muscles and my skin because it thinks that it should be not there.”

After weeks of hospital visits and money raised by events like dance marathon, the disease she’s had for seven years is now barely even noticeable.

“I’m super active now, like if we would see me and I didn’t say anything you wouldn’t even know that I had this disease,” said Kerwin. “But I still like to speak about it because you might see people that look completely normal but they could be going through so much.”

LHS’ Dance Marathon executive directors say that raising so much money was a community effort.

“It’s the community, it’s the business that sponsor us, it’s the students, the faculty and staff, the administration and everyone that just really puts in the effort to help us put on this event,” explained co-executive director Jamie Bolet.

That group effort guiding Leon High to be named the 2020 Best High School Dance Marathon in the country.

“Just getting the honor and like representing our school and dance marathon FSU is really awesome to say that we did that,” said co-executive director Ansley Green.

To the students, the greatest honor was helping fellow students like Kerwin who says she appreciates every dollar raised.

“Me just knowing that people are trying like even if it’s just a dollar, like that is just so, so encouraging,” exclaimed Kerwin.

With the help of the community, the group is proud to help save lives, one dance move at a time. The students say they look forward to raising even more money in 2021.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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