main content starts here

SHMD 2022 raises $515,440 for the community at Six Flags Great Escape

May 13, 2022

The 45th annual South High Marathon Dance, held at Six Flags Great Escape on May 13, has once again raised a significant amount of money for local families and charities.
The total amount, $515,440.74, was announced during the marathon’s closing ceremony on Friday. Throughout the 45-year history of the dance, the students and community have raised more than $9.9 million.

<img alt="dancers stand in the pavilion" />

Dancers get ready to start the day.

Money raised from this year’s event follows months of work, fundraising, and now the celebrated dance. The funds will benefit 28 recipients—both individuals and organizations from South Glens Falls and neighboring areas.
“As we continue to develop into a new normal, it is gratifying to know that the South High Marathon Dance continues to be a presence in our students’ lives,” said Superintendent of Schools Kristine Orr. “Although it has looked different the past couple of years, the core values stay the same: to bring together our school and the wider community to help those in need.”
Students got the chance to dance the day away at the closed-to-the-public park, even getting a chance to hop on some of the famous theme park rides. During the day, students took breaks by grade. They were joined in the afternoon by students from Oliver W. Winch Middle School and fifth-graders from our elementary schools.
Costume contests, neon power hours and choreographed dances kept our students motivated and their spirits up. Dancers also heard how much of an impact they were making, with recipients speaking with them about how their funds would help the larger South Glens Falls Community.
Speaking to students in a pre-recorded message, South High Principal Peter Mody told students to give themselves over to the spirit of the Marathon Dance.
“It will make you a better person if you do,” he said.<img alt="Dancers in blue shirts form a conga line" />
Principal Mody encouraged students who had attended the dance before to find someone going for the first time.
“Do your utmost to make them feel the same way I felt five years ago when I was just learning what this is all about,” he said.
“You just show them how special of a thing we have going on here,” he continued.
Principal Mody stressed that throughout the day, even as feet got sore and legs began to feel the hours of movement, it was all for something bigger than just the dance.
“All of that is a mild price to pay to show the people in our community that need you how much you really care,” he said.
This year’s recipients include:


  • The family of Adam Sweeney
  • The family of Anthony Davis
  • Charles Aiken
  • The family of Bob Desautels Jr
  • The family of David Schermerhorn
  • The family of Erika Leonard
  • The family of Geri Hugerich
  • The family of Jeffrey Marcil
  • Hunter Ripley
  • The family of Joe Patterson
  • The family of Joel Otruba
  • The family of Megan Coker
  • The family of Patricia Sullivan
  • Shannon Beckwith
  • The family of Tiffany Clark


  • ALS Regional Center
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Captain Community Service
  • Community Coalition for Family Wellness
  • Food for Thought
  • Gateway House of Peace
  • Kelly’s Angels, Inc.
  • Living for Mia
  • Make-A-Wish Northeast New York
  • Moreau Community Center
  • Rebuilding Together Saratoga County
  • South Glens Falls Kindness Closet
  • Veterans and Community Housing

The dance itself, livestreamed for the public this year, began in 1978. The event has progressed from a small dance in the high school gym to an event that brings the entire community together.

“We extend our deepest thanks to Six Flags Great Escape for partnering with the SHMD committee to allow our students to hold the event safely. To the students who help put on this fantastic event, you have the gratitude of not only our school, but the entire community. Your efforts were – and continue to be – extraordinary. Each and every committee members and volunteer should know that your work means the world to both our students and the recipients,” Orr said. “We can’t even begin to express how much this means to our students. They have had a once-in-a-lifetime experience here, and we hope that our recipients understand just how much of an impact they have made on our school community.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Category: Ballard News, District News, Harrison Ave News, Moreau News, SGFalls HS News, Tanglewood News, Winch MS News