UofL student Taryn Kerley and her Audrey Nethery will be raising funds for raiseRED.
UofL student Taryn Kerley and her Audrey Nethery will be raising funds for raiseRED.

It’s undoubtedly one of the biggest rivalries in all of college, but the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky will put their differences aside this week for a united fight against pediatric cancer and blood diseases.

The Commonwealth Cup kicks off today and runs through the week, featuring a bevy of events facilitated by UofL’s raiseRED Dance Marathon and UK’s DanceBlue marathon.

The week-long effort provides a fundraising supplement for both schools’ actual dance marathons, which will take place Feb. 25-26 at the SAC Ballroom at UofL and March 5-6 at UK.

The idea of the Commonwealth Cup came about last year when both schools were faced with the challenges of continuing their dance marathons in a pandemic. At UofL, raiseRED shifted to a hybrid model and moved the fundraising reveal to Cardinal Stadium. The event returns to an in-person format this year, but the organization is keeping some of its hybrid elements to maintain accessibility. It is also continuing its ancillary fundraisers, including the Commonwealth Cup.

Last year’s inaugural event had a fundraising goal of $50,000 between the two schools. They ended up raising over $68,000. This year, the Cards and Cats are targeting an $80,000 fundraising goal.

The week includes a diverse lineup of events, both in-person and virtual:

Monday, Jan. 24: A PJ party, 7-8 p.m., virtually or in the SAC 102. Join raiseRED’s Cardinal Crew for a special night of Bedtime Stories with Cardinal Buddies, the children who are recipients of this fundraising effort. The goal is for each raiseRED student to raise $21.28 in honor of the 2,128 children with cancer treated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals every day.

Tuesday, Jan. 25: Commonwealth Countdown, 6:30-8 p.m., online. Inspired by “escape rooms,” raiseRED and DanceBlue participants will come together for a virtual event when teams can complete puzzles and solve mysteries to escape from their breakout room. 

Wednesday, Jan. 26: Just Dance, 6:30-8 p.m., SAC. The Just Dance night includes a step-by-step walkthrough previewing the 2022 line dance from the Line Dance Team.

Thursday, Jan. 27: Mail call for the kids, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., tabling at the SAC by Chick-fil-A. All are welcome to visit the table to write notes for Cardinal Buddies.  

Friday, Jan. 28: Ignite the Fight. raiseRED students will rally the UofL community to raise $17.98 a person in honor of UofL’s founding year.

Saturday, Jan. 29: Reveal, Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort.

Keep an eye on UofL raiseRED’s social media channels this week to follow fundraising progress and participate in fundraising online here.

Alicia Kelso
Alicia Kelso is the director of social media and digital content. She joined UofL in 2015 as director of communications at the Brandeis School of Law. She also serves as a senior contributor at Forbes.com, writing about the restaurant industry, which she has covered since 2010. Her work has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Good Morning America and Franchise Asia Magazine.