VALPARAISO | Dona Henry remembers her mom telling her stories about dancing in a marathon back in the 1930s in Gary. And because of those stories Henry is planning a 24-hour dance marathon to benefit Chicago Street Theatre.
"My mom, at age 16, danced for 1,200 hours in 1930 at the Gay Mill Marathon in Gary," Henry said. "She had to stop because she had an appendicitis attack and had to have surgery."
Henry has newspaper clippings and letters her mom wrote while standing up, dancing for 50 days in the marathon.
"My mom was a great storyteller and she would tell me about the dance marathon and how she would have to sleep standing up and that they only got a short five-minute break every hour," Henry said. "I was so fascinated by these stories and knew we had to do something at the theater with this."
The Chicago Street Theatre is holding a 24-hour dance marathon to benefit the theater.
"This is a personal dream of mine," Henry said. "I've been trying to get the theater to do this for a long time."
Couples or teams can join and two people have to be on the dance floor at any moment. The winner is the person with the highest fundraising, still dancing at the end of the 24 hours. The cost to enter is $200 a couple or $50 per team member. The couples are then asked to get pledges to help raise money. People can pledge per hour or give a lump sum pledge.
The marathon begins at 8 p.m. Nov. 16 and lasts until 8 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Elks Lodge, 157 W. Jefferson St., Valparaiso.
For information, call Dona Henry at (219) 916-6870.