Kara Ingram founded the Barrington High School Dance Marathon her sophomore year at Barrington High School.
Inspired by her older siblings fundraising efforts in college, Kara has championed two successful Barrington Dance Marathon events and looks forward to her third March 10th from 7-11 P.M. at Barrington High School. We caught up with Kara to learn more about the event and its impact.
Living60010: Since starting the event, what has the impact been on Barrington High School and recipient Lurie’s Children’s Hospital?
Kara Ingram: Since starting Barrington Dance Marathon, the impact on the community has grown rapidly. We started out as just an idea and quickly expanded to become a school-wide event. The event brings diverse student clubs and athletics together to bring awareness to the hospital. Consequently, the support system of Lurie's has grown within the high school community. We have raised over $37,000 in the past two years, but more importantly, we have spread the stories of Lurie families. More students are becoming educated about the prevalence of pediatric illness, and more students are joining in an alliance.
Living60010: How has the event changed or grown?
Kara Ingram: The event has grown in how many student clubs and athletic teams are involved. We have worked hard in trying to make Dance Marathon an event that all clubs and teams can support. In this way, we hope to unify the school even amongst all of the diversity. We also have grown in trying to incorporate more student participation at the event. This year X and Premium Blend, two incredible student acapella groups at the high school will be performing together.
Students will also be awarded for being the most enthusiastic dancer and will be recognized for their fundraising efforts.
Living60010: Have you been able to draw attention to something your classmates were unaware of?
Kara Ingram: I believe that our committee has been very successful in trying to spread awareness as best as we could. For us, it is so important that the event has a lasting impact and does not merely become another high school dance. We have accomplished this by welcoming several Lurie families to speak at the event. This allows all participants to hear first-hand stories that they were not aware of, and it helps to bring the cause alive. This is the most powerful part of Dance Marathon in my opinion!
Living60010: You started this event - what are plans after you graduate?
Kara Ingram: After graduating, I have every intention to make sure that Dance Marathon continues to make an impact at Barrington High School. I have been working with a current sophomore, Linnea O'Brien, this past year so that she feels confident leading when I leave. I also made sure that under-classmen were placed in committees where they can learn the roles so that they will be able to lead in the future. I am confident that all of the committee members and Linnea will be able to continue the cause and will only bring success.
Living60010: Do you plan to do something similar in college?
Kara Ingram: Next year I will be attending Northwestern University and am so excited to participate in their Dance Marathon! Their Dance Marathon is one of the largest in the country, so I am ecstatic to participate on such a large scale. The cause is so important to my heart, so I couldn't imagine not continuing it throughout college.
Help support BHS Dance Marathon by registering for the event or donating online at bhsdancemarathon.org! To stay updated with all of our upcoming events follow @bhsdancemarathon on Instagram, or @barringtondm on Facebook