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The Hawk Rock dance-a-thon will return Oct. 19-20 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The Hawk Rock raises funds and goods to benefit Indiana County Community Action Program, Family Promise of Indiana County and the Community Kitchen of Indiana County, organizations that assist those in need in Indiana County.
The event will begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 19 and run until 10 a.m. the next day in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, according to the Hawk Rock webpage.
“A lot of people don’t know that Indiana County is one of the top counties in poverty,” Andrea Marra (junior, math education), president of the Hawk Rock, said.
“It’s a really big issue in Indiana County and not many people notice that.”
Marra took over the president position when Malia Lazor, the creator of the Hawk Rock, graduated in the spring of 2013.
“I am so thrilled to see that the Hawk Rock spirit is still continuing at IUP,” Lazor said. “We wanted to focus on an issue that is big in the community. After talking to community connections and officials we found that there is a serious problem with hunger and homelessness in Indiana County.”
Marra became president at the end of February last year.
“I had the chance to change everything once I became president,” Marra said. “But I wanted to stay local and support local charities.”
Since becoming president, Marra has been able to increase the amount of students on her committee. The Hawk Rock currently has 25 committee members, around 22 of which are new, she said.
Erin Bender (junior, early childhood/ special education), the Hawk Rock’s activities chair, decided to join last spring after attending a general meeting for those interested in becoming involved.
“It’s a great time,” Bender said. “It’s for a great cause.”
Student and community members are able to register for the dance-a-thon up until 9:45 a.m. Oct. 19, the day of the event.
The prices for registration are as follows: individual, $20; pair, $30; three to five members, $75; five to 10 members, $100; and 10 or more at $10 each.
So far, about 12 teams have registered, Marra said, but she is expecting about 20 teams.
“Last year we had about 125 dancers,” Marra said. “This year we are expecting about 200 to 250.”
Other activities will also be available to students each hour including group games such as kickball, basketball and volleyball.
Different groups will also teach participants how to dance.
Each hour will begin with the Hawk Rock dance, which was created last year. The dance is made up of about four dance moves put together.
With all of the activities going on throughout the night, the Hawk Rock will provide food from restaurants including Wendy’s, The Coney, Steel City Samiches, Grub’s Sports Bar and ARAMARK .
The Hawk Rock is not only a dance-a-thon. It also fundraises throughout the year.
The Hawk Rock 24-hour dance-a-thon raised $10,000 in the inaugural year, according to the IUP Hawk Rock Facebook page.
They recently ended their online pasta fundraiser and raised approximately $200, Marra said.
“You could order pasta right to your house,” Marra said.
The Hawk Rock also sells Sheetz and Bon-Ton coupon books, Marra said. Sheetz coupons cost $10 and Bon-Ton coupons cost $5.
This offer is open to anyone through Facebook or email.
The Hawk Rock’s fundraising goal for this year is $10,000, but they hope to raise more, Marra said.