HuskyTHON’s morale captains kept the energy alive and electric at the University of Connecticut last Saturday and Sunday and helped raise $1.5 million for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. 

Morale captains are the hype crew of HuskyTHON. They work to motivate dancers, dancer representatives and entire teams. They get them excited as the anticipation for the event grows throughout the year and in the end, the results are magical.

Sophomore Abbey Conrad participated in HuskyTHON last year, but she said this was her first year as a morale captain.

“We basically have helped encourage everyone to register and help everyone fundraise,” Conrad said. “A new thing we did this year, morale captains paired up with dancer reps for every team. So I was the morale captain for the SUBOG team. Sometimes dancer reps are thrown in the position or they don’t really know how to lead their team so that’s why we did this new thing this year.”

Other dancers watch Conrad as she leads them in the morale dance. Photo: Kate Ariano

Conrad said morale captains have put in a lot of hours of intense work to prepare for HuskyTHON, but the end result was worth it all. They spent two hours every Tuesday and Sunday learning the morale dance which everyone performs every hour on the hour, for the 18-hour dance marathon.

“I would say finally being here now and doing the first morale dance of the night, it was pretty cool,” she said. “We’ve been working on it since we got back this semester so to finally have everyone else see it and be able to teach everyone is pretty cool.”

Each team could ensure that their miracle child and family was having a good time by taking them around to basketball, bouncy houses and mechanical bull riding. Danielle Schnaufer, mom to miracle child Matthew, said she loved seeing the interactions between students and the children.

“Oh it’s awesome I love it. It was so awesome to see the kids being cheered in as they came in and I love the sibling part of it,” Schnaufer said. “They’re all having so much fun and I love how the fraternities and sororities play with the kids and make them feel special.”

Sophomores Mason Armstrong and Jhon Perez both said the atmosphere in the Hugh S. Greer Field House was something incredible to experience for their first time. 

“It’s so fun to see all the kids having a great time and just enjoying themselves with all these college students,” Armstrong said.

Perez was committed to raising money for the kids all throughout the night, even challenging himself to participate in HuskyTHON’s hair-cutting drive.

Perez said if he could raise $50 throughout the night, he would go through with it. And that he did. 

“I’m going to shave my head,” Perez said. “…it’s for the kids, I’m trying to raise the money and my hair grows back quick so why not?”