Nazareth Academy High School's Naz-A-Thon raising funds for CHOP

The pandemic put a hold on the annual 12-hour dance marathon for the past few years, which makes this one extra special.
NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The students and staff at Nazareth Academy High School in Northeast Philadelphia look forward to the Naz-A-Thon every year.

The pandemic put a hold on the annual 12-hour, in-person dance marathon for the past few years, which makes this one extra special.

"After two years of COVID, not being able to have anything, you know, we wanted to reintroduce it," said senior Lena Shelinsky.

Nazareth Academy holds fundraisers all year long to raise money and awareness for the important work at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"All year we raise funds for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and we conclude our efforts with a Children's Miracle Network dance marathon," said Shelinsky.

The students on their feet from 8:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. during Naz-A-Thon. But besides just dancing, they also participate in various activities to keep them busy throughout the event, including carnival games and face painting. The students even got to throw pies into their teachers faces - for a good cause of course!

Faculty Narrator Cheryl Sylvester started the event back in 2016 after one of her students was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. They raised $20,000 their first year and are now close to $800,000 dollars donated to CHOP.

Throughout the day, there are several miracle families that share their stories and experiences at CHOP and how it has helped them on their journey.

"And that is the biggest motivator for our girls to stay on their feet," said Sylvester.

Each year they donate the money raised to a different facility within CHOP. This year they are donating the money to the Child Life department and Autism Integrated Care program.

"Seeing everyone's faces light up when we put those numbers up and see all our efforts pay off because, this is more than just us - it's for the kids. I think we can survive a few hours dancing for the kids that really need it," said Shelinksy.

For information or to donate to Naz-A-Thon, CLICK HERE.
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