We’re one week out from RUDM 2015 and couldn’t be more excited. We sat down with Carey Loch, the Director of Major Events & Programs for Rutgers Student Life, and a new addition to the advisory team for Rutgers Dance Marathon, to talk about her experience. Carey first learned about RUDM in 2009, and since has been unable to stay away.

When did you first learn about RUDM?

Sadly enough, I didn’t find out about DM until I started working in Student Life in 2009, after I worked 11 years at the University. I first started working with DM because I was so drawn to working with JoAnn. I had worked with her on Homecoming, so when I came over to Student Life, I was lucky that part of my new job was to help support major events on campus, including Dance Marathon.

My first experience with RUDM was in 2009 when I came Sunday during family hour. I stood on the balcony of the College Avenue Gym and just balled and said, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing!” I asked Dean A a million questions and she explained not only what was happening, but why it was happening. The whole concept of palliative care, as a parent, really stuck with me. I can put myself in those parents’ shoes and imagine what it means to be able to choose to go to work or spend the time with your child who needs you so much. Then I would expand the amount of time I stayed until, three years ago, I stayed for the whole entire thing and was completely and totally hooked. It was then that I recognized that’s how you get people to understand what Dance Marathon is. So then it became my mission to get the right people in the University community come and experience it so they would become advocates and help benefit the program.

What’s your favorite thing about RUDM?

I love everything about Dance Marathon. It’d be easy to say what it does for the family and patients, but I think the way it affects students and the feeling you get about it is my favorite thing. I love the idea that it unites students across all different means: all different levels of involvement, class years, backgrounds, all coming together for a common cause. The idea that everybody, regardless of how they identify at the University, becomes a part of a community that identifies around supporting Embrace Kids.

What are you most excited for RUDM 2015?

I’m excited to be in the RAC for a second year. This sounds cheesy, but as a logistics person, I’m excited to have a second shot. It was so challenging last year because we were in a new space and there was all this excitement and expectation, but there were also just things we didn’t know. I’m really excited about the opportunity to see what we’ve spent a whole year working on be made better so that this experience can really be all about the dancers, patients and the families. Also – bin valet, it’s always a thing.

Anything other thoughts?

I love that Dance Marathon gives us the opportunity to celebrate Rutgers, because I feel like that’s not something we do enough.

Thank you, Carey, for sitting and speaking with us!

If you want to meet and chat with Carey about bin valet and how amazing Dance Marathon is, visit her and all other RUDM Alumni at Rutgers Dance Marathon next weekend, April 11-12 at the RAC. RUDM Alumni will hold the annual meeting at 11:45am on Sunday, the 12th at the RAC.

Make your donation now to RUDM 2015.