WARRENSBURG - For months, a group of parents and students have been forming plans for a night-long celebration of life, music and movement known as the Warrensburg High School Marathon Dance.
Open to students in grades seven through 12, the debut event is modeled after the immensely successful South Glens Falls Marathon Dance that's raised millions of dollars for various charities.
Warrensburg's version, titled "Dancing to Make a Difference," is set for 7 p.m. Saturday Jan. 15 in the Warrensburg High School Gymnasium, and it's expected to extend until 7 a.m. Sunday morning.
The event is to include a public session for several hours at the beginning of the event, complete with staged events, live and silent auctions of donated goods, raffles, games and stunts.
The dance registration proceeds are to be donated to the North Country Hardship Fund, founded by North River resident Wayne Bukovinsky, victim of a 2008 motorcycle crash. The charity aids families who have undergone sudden tragedies. Proceeds from the auctions and raffles are going to support Warrensburg Central's PRIDE behavior-boosting program. PRIDE committee members, along with WCS 11th graders, are primarily responsible for planning the event.
About 150 students, most from Warrensburg High, have signed up for the event, which is open to youth of all communities.
Terri Leguire, one of the adults planning the marathon, said local school district employee Karen Bailey, who has given inspirational speeches at the South Glens Falls marathon dance, will be giving a similar kickoff presentation at the Warrensburg event. Bailey, a cancer survivor, was a 2004 recipient of the South Glens Falls event's proceeds.
The South Glens Falls Marathon Dance, thriving since the 1970s, raised $283,407 in 2010 alone for charity, and has raised $2.2 million through its long run.
A Vermont radio station will be providing deejays to keep the students gyrating virtually non-stop.
Local parent Terri LeGuire, one of the marathon dance organizers, said she hopes the event will become an area tradition, as its forerunner in South Glens Falls has.
"I'm hoping this will be held annually and grow through the years," she said, noting the generosity of area businesses, who have donated cash and food for dancers as well as goods and services for the auctions and raffles.
High School Principal Doug Duell said the marathon dance offered vital life-lessons to the students, and that he wasn't likely going to be duct-taped to the gymnasium wall as part of the event, as was reported to the media.
"Its a great opportunity for our kids to learn about service to the community and do some good for people who need a boost," he said.