4 Favorite Philanthropic Events in March

As the sun starts to peek out from its winter hiding spot, we’re looking ahead to the inspiring philanthropic events populating our calendar for spring and beyond.

From dancing for a good cause to an eye-opening film screening, there are options for everyone to get involved in giving back.

Dance for a Cure

Now in its 40th year, Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon (pictured) is proud to partner with Team Joseph and the Evanston Community Foundation as its primary and secondary beneficiaries. As one of the largest student-run philanthropies in the nation, NUDM has raised more than $14 million for more than 30 different beneficiaries.

Founded 40 years ago by the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Northwestern’s Associated Student Government, NUDM featured just 15 couples completing the 52-hour marathon. Today, the spectacular 30-hour event draws more than 1,500 registered dancers.

As this year’s event draws near, with dancers headed to the expansive tent on the lawn of Norris Student Center in the afternoon March 7 and not emerging until the wee hours of the morning March 9, there are still opportunities to get involved:

  • NUDM will host an online silent auction, Monday, March 3, to Sunday, March 9.
  • A 5K run around the University’s lakefill to benefit NUDM begins at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 8. Register online or the day of the event, beginning at 10 a.m. at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston.
  • A Kids’ Fair with fun family-oriented activities, including face painting, cookie decorating and beanbag tossing, is being held at Norris Center from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, March 9. Admission is $5 per family and available for purchase the day of the event at Norris.

NUDM’s primary beneficiary, Team Joseph, funds cutting-edge research to find a treatment or cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal degenerative genetic muscle disease.

The Evanston Community Foundation, the event’s second beneficiary for the 17th consecutive year, builds, connects and distributes resources and knowledge for the common good throughout local Evanston organizations.

NUDM 2013 shattered its previous records by raising $1.2 million in cash and in-kind donations to support the Danny Did Foundation and Evanston Community Foundation.

Recharge with a TV Tune-Out

The Alliance for Early Childhood is kicking off its 20th annual ScreenBreak event, Sunday, March 2, with alternative arts, literature and athletic activities, speakers and classes. ScreenBreak Week, formerly TV Tune Out Week, encourages families to try to eliminate or limit their screen use. Children ages 3 to 13 and their families are encouraged to turn off their television sets, video and computer screens for seven days; together, families can rediscover the wonder and adventure of life outside.

Families make their own rules about screen usage during the week, from going cold turkey to limited or reduced use. Families are encouraged to enjoy their own activities at home or some of the many alternative activities coordinated throughout the community. Approximately 30 schools are involved, with nearly 5,000 children participating annually. Throughout the week, dozens of merchants, schools and organizations in Winnetka, Kenilworth, Northfield and the surrounding communities sponsor events and activities alternative to screens.

The weeklong event begins at 3:30 p.m., March 2 with a performance by the Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team at Washburne School in Winnetka. It will conclude with a fabulous finale, The Great American Challenge Game Show, 4:30 p.m., March 7.

For more information and a full list of alternative activities, visit the Alliance for Early Childhood website.

Celebrate Female Empowerment in Muslim-majority Societies

In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, GlobalGirl Media Chicago is proud to be a community sponsor of a screening of “Honor Diaries,” Tuesday, March 4, 6:30 p.m. at AMC River East 21. The screening is sponsored in conjunction with the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and the Anti-Defamation League of Chicago 

“Honor Diaries” features nine courageous women’s rights advocates with connections to Muslim-majority societies. These women have fought to break free of their societies and the hardships women endure to affect change, both in their communities and beyond. The film gives a platform to female voices and seeks to open a productive dialogue on this heartrending international human rights disaster. The lack of access to education, forced marriage and female genital mutation are some of the systematic abuses explored in this documentary.

More than a movie, “Honor Diaries” is a movement meant to educate more people on the issues facing women in Muslim-majority societies and inspire change. For more information on the screening or to purchase tickets, visit the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s website.

Global Girl Media is dedicated to empowering high school age girls from underserved communities through media, leadership and journalistic training, providing these young women a voice in the global media universe and in their own futures.

Sing to Win Tickets to “The Sound of Music”

Find your voice and enter our “The Sound of Music” Sing-to-Win Ticket Giveaway! The beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is returning to Chicago at the Lyric Opera, and we’ve teamed up with this nonprofit theater to offer talented singers, dancers and actors the opportunity to see the show and meet the cast. Get together as a group or participate as an individual, and sing your heart out.

For full details on our YouTube and social media contests, click here.