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  • Writer's pictureDance Marathon at SDSU

Aztec Night and Miracle Week 2021

When I first got the position of Director of Special Events for the 2021-2022 school year, I was elated. I had been on the Leadership Team for a year already and was excited to do a little bit more than I had previously done. At the same time, I was extremely nervous. I am an elementary education major and am not at all an event coordinator, but I was about to be! This role was not one where I could sit back, enjoy summer, and wait for school to begin before I started. Instead, this role had me start doing work for it within a month of getting it.

Starting in late May/early June, we had to start attending programmer meetings to begin planning for our Aztec Night in September. Being on the East Coast and working around 35 hours a week, it was nearly impossible for me to attend them. Staying in close contact with our advisors and my VP, all the information was passed down to me in order to stay in the loop, despite the challenges of not being able to attend them myself. Still unsure of if our event would be in person or virtual, Megh (my VP) and I met a couple of times throughout the summer for various reasons. We quickly nailed down our ideas for a theme, our games, and our food for the event.

Once back on campus in late August, we began to meet more frequently to lock in ideas and all the details. Once we definitively knew we would be in person, I think it took three different versions of our proposal before we were 100% approved by the school. At that point, things got fun since we were able to finally start purchasing items and our vision was one step closer to coming alive.

On the day of the Aztec Night, it started raining; something that in September, does not happen all too often in San Diego, but of course it was happening the night we were hosting an outdoor event. Our event was happening rain or shine and remaining calm, we focused on the appreciative fact that we would get to dance in the rain that night. This is something in which kids in the hospital might wish to do- we had to do it for them.

Despite the fact that we had to almost vacate the premises 30 minutes before our event began due to a fire alarm going off, the event still came together that night like a dream. While I was running around all night making sure Leadership Team members were at their assigned stations and we were running on schedule, I’ll never forget those moments where I got to see everyone enjoying themselves and just taking it all in. Me and Megh, we did that. Our hug at the end of the night during our “I Lived” circle, is something that I’ll always hold on to.

All while our planning for Aztec Night was going on, about two weeks before the event was taking place, we had to shift gears and also start planning for our annual Miracle Week. This was fast-paced planning and had a quick turnaround time from the Aztec Night. I’ll be honest and say that while the successful Aztec Night had given me some confidence to plan this week, I was still quite nervous since I knew how important it was for Miracle Week to be epic. This was also a little bit more stressful since more people were involved in the planning than just me and Megh. While I was immensely grateful that we had the extra help, it was sometimes challenging to communicate with everyone who had a planning role and to make sure that everything was getting done how we needed it to.

Flash forward to Miracle Week and it almost seems like a blur. I can’t remember how many classes I actually attended during Miracle Week, but I do know I tabled at LEAST 30 hours during it! The efforts we, as a board, put into it were so worth it- especially when we raised $77,102.06 IN.ONE.DAY!

A fellow Leadership Team member hugged me after we raised those numbers, I totally teared up in their arms that night. It was a surreal moment to think that all my efforts had inspired others to make difference for the kids.

Through the long days and the long nights of meeting and planning for these events on top of my own school and work, I am incredibly grateful that I get to be a part of this organization. Constantly, I am reminded of my own why and am inspired by the people around me. Dance Marathon at SDSU is magical.

Currently, Megh and I are in the midst of planning our 4k Fun Run For More Miracles and our Heart Week. But, going into the new year, I am more excited than ever for our main event.

Thank you to my board for trusting in me. Thank you to Management Team for believing in me. And the biggest thank you to Megh, for being my biggest cheerleader and support system this year, I truly could not do it without you.

-Lindsay Gaudette


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