Dance Marathon, 1974-1988

The brothers of Prometheus started a Dance Marathon at SUNY Potsdam in 1974.  A Prometheus brother, Ron Tischler, had three brothers with Muscular Dystrophy and his fraternity brothers wanted to raise funds to help his family purchase a handicapped van that could hold three wheelchairs.
1975 Dance Marathon

That first Dance Marathon was 32 hours and they raised $2,500.  The brothers raised additional funds that year and was able to fund the van for the Tischler family.  The Dance Marathon continued each year after that, but it was held for 52 hours!  From reading old Racquette newspapers it looks like 1988 was the last year.
In 2010 the SUNY Potsdam All Greek Council started a 10 hour Dance-A-Thon, with proceeds going to local organizations.  The 2013 event is November 22nd with proceeds going to the Potsdam Holiday Fund, which provides gifts, winter clothing, and food to families in need in the Potsdam area.  Last year, they provided items to 400 children.

Some Facts:
  • Organizers started meeting in October, the event was held in March
  • Friday (typically a 4pm start) through Sunday
  • Dancers must keep their feet moving (there were referees)
  • 15 minute break every hour, four one-hour breaks for meals, 3-hour sleep breaks each night. 
  • 52 hours long, with 30 hours of dancing (if you take out the breaks).  
  • There were typically around 30 couples entered.  Those who raised the most money either won a trip to Florida or a case of liquor (prize varied from year to year).  
  • Spectators paid a small fee (25-50 cents) and some years there were prizes for spectators.  
  • Music was from live bands and DJs (all donated their time)
  • The businesses of Potsdam donated all of the prizes and helped sponsor individual dancers.
Yearly Details
  • 1974: sponsored by Prometheus, Omega, CUB and raised $2,500
  • 1975: Half the funds went to Head Start, the other half to Neighborhood Center.  Raised $4,700 and 26 couples finished
  • 1976: sponsored by Prometheus, Omega, CUB and raised over $6,600 - $200 went to AXP to help pay for their new house after it burned down.  The rest went half to Potsdam Rescue Squad and half to St. Lawrence County Easter Seals.  32 couples entered, 31 1/2 finished
  • 1977: sponsored by Prometheus, Crow, Omega, Alpha, Ago, PhiK & Zeta.  Raised $6,409 for Big Brother and Big Sister program, Potsdam Geriatrics Center and the Potsdam Volunteer Fire Department.  
  • 1978: 28 couples, people drop out but are replaced by other couples so they can finish with the same number. $6,987 raised for Potsdam Hospital and the Department of Parks & Recreation.
  • 1979: ?
  • 1980: sponsored by Prometheus, Omega and PhiK.  $4,800 to Potsdam-Canton Hospital, the Youth Association and the Potsdam Humane Society
  • 1981: ?
  • 1982: sponsored by Prometheus, Gamma Sigma Sigma (SUNY Potsdam service sorority), Alpha Phi Omega (Clarkson service fraternity), and Potsdam College Union Board.  St. Lawrence County Association for Retarded Citizens, the Well-Child Clinic, The Circle, the Canton-Potsdam Hospital and the American Red Cross.   30 couples raised $6,800 - the highest amount raised
  • 1983: sponsored by Prometheus, Sigma Alpha Iota, Psi Phi and WRPS-CUB.  24 couples raised $5,600 for Potsdam-Canton Hospital, Potsdam Nursing Home, local hostels for the mentally handicapped, the Heart Fund, Planned Parenthood and the Potsdam Rescue Squad
  • 1984: sponsored by Prometheus, Psi Phi and Gamma Sigma Sigma 
  • 1985: sponsored by Prometheus, Psi Phi Delta and Gamma Sigma Sigma.  $3,500 raised
  • 1986: sponsored by Prometheus, Gamma Sigma Sigma and Alpha.  Funds went to Lawrence Avenue School (for a playground), Ellis Island, Canton-Potsdam Hospital
  • 1987 sponsored by Prometheus and Alpha
  • 1988 sponsored by Prometheus, AST and Alpha.  Funds went to St. Lawrence County Literacy Volunteers, Very Special Arts Program, H.E.L.P., E.O.P. for the handicapped, and the Crumb Library (which used the funds to purchase typewriters).  All but two lasted the entire time.  Raised $1,400


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