While students were busy dancing during Ziggython this year, two members of the University sailing team were doing something a little different to raise money for the yearly event.
Sophomores Robert Ottman and Michael Perkins sailed at the mouth of the Maumee River in honor of Dance Marathon for 14 hours.
Perry got the idea to sail at last year’s Ziggython, in which he was a dancer. He saw the bikers come in and thought it would be a good idea for the sailing team to do something for the event as well.
“I said, ‘you know, I have this really crazy idea to do, like, this sailing thing for 32 hours for Dance Marathon,’” Ottman said. “Then it kinda took off. They absolutely loved it.”
Perkins said he was apprehensive about joining Ottman on the trip, but realized the difference it could make if successful.
“It’s something we can do to really contribute,” Perkins said. “It’s something we already participate in regularly ... but if we can also raise X amount of money to help kids, that’s a good thing to do.”
Ottman said the two of them were unable to bring in other students due to perceived safety hazards because too much of the lake is still frozen.
“As you can tell, this winter’s been a pretty drastic one,” Ottman said. “The lake is still 70 percent frozen almost ... we really couldn’t bring in other prospective students because it would just be too dangerous for them.”
Having more side events, Ottman said, opens up the possibilities for people to get engaged in Dance Marathon.
“Not only is this a way to open up a new thing for students to do, but it also helps the sport of sailing,” Ottman said.
Ottman made it clear that he and Perkins weren’t officially partnered with Dance Marathon, but rather were doing it in honor of the event.
“When we’re doing it, our name is the sailing team and we’re just donating in essence toward Dance Marathon,” Ottman said.
Despite this, Ottman hopes sailing will become an official part of Ziggython next year. He said he plans on bringing the total amount raised to the committee that heads Dance Marathon and pitch to them the idea of an official sailing sub-event. Holly Hemminger, assistant director of internal affairs for Dance Marathon, said the organization is supportive of Ottman and Perkins’ efforts and are receptive of the idea of making it an official part of the event.
In the end, Ottman said he hopes this gives recognition to the sailing team in addition to raising money for Dance Marathon.
“When people think of a sailing team, they think of a bunch of alcoholic drinkers,” Ottman said. “We’re not just [drinkers], we’re a group of people who put for an effort to make a change for children.”