By Rae Wee

The inaugural Terp Thon Showcase at the University of Maryland got off to a great start as it drew crowds of students belonging to various student organizations to the event.

Held at the Hoff Theater in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union on Oct. 24 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the showcase saw 11 student groups taking the stage with performances ranging from the university’s very own version of television show “Family Feud” to an Israeli dance.

The 11 contenders — which included various Greek life organizations, a capella group DaCadence and the UnBound dance team — battled it out for various awards given out at the end of the showcase, and were judged by a panel of three judges.

An event organized by Terp Thon, a student organization at the university that raises funds and awareness for kids at the Children’s National Health System, the showcase aimed to give Terp Thon’s partner student groups the chance to display their talents on stage as a way to thank them for their contributions.

The idea was first introduced this year with the intention of generating more hype leading up to Terp Thon, a 12-hour dance marathon held during the Spring semester.

“We wanted to do another big event that would be drawing awareness to Terp Thon, not necessarily about fundraising because a lot of our other events have fundraising days,” public relations chairperson for Terp Thon, junior journalism major Analeigh Hughes said. “Just to kind of bring more awareness and get campus community more.”

For the participating student organizations, the showcase was a way to give back and show their support for the children at the Children’s National Health System.

“[The event] shows that the school can really come together around one great cause,” Sabrina Marquez, a junior criminal justice major in the sorority Alpha Xi Delta, said. “We were all kids at one point, we all know what our childhood is like, and we want every other kid to have the same type of childhood too.”

The groups also hope that their involvement would help the event grow in the following years to come.

“Hopefully it’ll inspire other groups to also participate. I think we saw a good mix of different types of acts, but hopefully more will see this and get involved in it,” 21-year-old senior business major Aron Kaufman, who performed with DaCadence, said.

Ultimately, to the  organizing committee, the response to and success of the showcase was a good indicator of the impact that the university’s student body could have on patients at the hospital.

Amara Fox, 21, executive director of Terp Thon, envisions such events to continue playing a part in bettering the lives of the children.

“The work that we do, the work that the students do to support us really does transform the patient experience at the hospital — everything at the hospital is targeted towards benefiting the experience of the child,” the senior public health science major said. “So the work that we’re doing on campus really just further expands the movement and power that we have.”

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Terp Thon’s Facebook page.

Rae Wee is a junior journalism major and can be reached at weerae97@gmail.com.

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