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Dance for a Difference

Liberty High to host fundraiser April 22 supporting pediatric terminal disease patients
The Liberty High Difference Makers club was established by former Iowa City West High students, seeking to raise money for families with a child facing terminal illness. The group hosts Dance for a Difference on Saturday, April 22, from noon to 4 p.m. at Liberty High School.

NORTH LIBERTY– Students of Liberty High are wasting little time establishing their new school as a vessel of support for local families struggling with pediatric illness.
To finish its first year, the school is preparing for its inaugural Dance for a Difference fundraiser. The event will take place Sunday, April 22, from 12-4 p.m. in the small auxiliary gym at Liberty High School in North Liberty.
“We’re just trying our own thing and seeing where we can go from here, trying to raise awareness and spread the word about all this, because a lot of people don’t realize how big of an issue it is,” said senior Madi Barta.
The event will feature a DJ conducting music, as well as food, a photo booth and four speakers telling their personal story every hour. This includes a cancer survivor, an individual still in the midst of battling cancer and a local pediatric nurse.
Individuals will run treadmills, accumulating donations for every mile ran, and a silent auction will be held with contributions from local businesses.
Proceeds from Dance for a Difference will be distributed among the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital; the Fight with Flash Foundation, created to honor the life and spirit of Austin “Flash” Schroeder, an Iowa City-area child who had a form of T-cell lymphoma; and the Ronald McDonald House, which serves families by providing the comfort and amenities they need while their child recovers from serious illness or injury.
The fundraiser was initiated by a group of Liberty High students known collectively as the Difference Makers. The student-run organization aims to help spread awareness and raise money for the families of children and young adults battling life-threatening diseases. It was established as a thematic continuation by two transfer seniors from West High, who, during their time at the Iowa City school, hosted a dance marathon supporting cancer patients. Liberty High’s Difference Makers, however, will more broadly focus on all diseases faced by youth.
“We decided that we wanted to start it with one of our teachers and then we just got a lot of people involved,” Barta said. “It’s mostly underclassmen, but it’s been awesome to see how much they’ve all stepped up and gotten out of their comfort zones to become a part of this.”
A $10 walk-in fee will be requested for Dance for a Difference, as will a $50 fee for dancers. Participants can also buy a T-shirt supporting the cause.
For more information, or to sign up, visit Liberty High School Difference Makers on Facebook, Liberty HS Difference Makers on Instagram or Liberty High DM on Twitter.
Barta and her fellow Difference Makers are eager to spread the word and make Liberty High a pedestal of support for local families facing hardship. And while a particular month hasn’t been pinned down, the club hopes to make Dance for a Difference an annual event.
“We think that every individual can be a difference maker and every individual can share love, spread hope and just be a part of a positive change for others,” Barta said. “So small or large, we can all come together and we can make a difference in people’s lives.”