For Executive Director of GC Miracle Jacob Zawoysky, supporting the Dance Marathon—a 12-hour lock-in benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Macon—is all about moving. The event is Georgia College’s largest fundraiser garnering $222,492.56 in April.
“It’s more than just an organization—it’s a movement,” he said. “It’s just so much bigger than you. And you don’t realize it until you attend it.”
Zawoysky and his team of volunteers turned the dance event into something everyone could enjoy.
“It changes you and friends, plus kids that you’ve never met,” he said. “To be a part of something bigger than myself has helped me grow tremendously as a person.”
Zawoysky, a mass communication major, started with GC Miracle when he was a first-year student in the SAE Fraternity, where attending a GC service event is required.
“I didn’t know much about it or what to expect,” he said. I went to the event, and after 12 hours, I applied to be on the executive board. I was just that moved. I applied to be a director of the morale dance. I just wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I stayed with it because of the people.”
Eighty percent of the almost a quarter of a million dollars raised this year came from 40 students fundraising.
"It just shows the passion people have,” said Zawoysky. “To be able to so selflessly raise money and awareness with individuals you’ve never met is an incredibly humbling experience. I think it’s been an amazing success because people bought into the movement.”
GC Miracle volunteers have no idea who the miracle children are who will be helped.
“The $222,492.56 is more than just a dollar amount,” he said. “To the kids, it means more miracles, memories, birthdays and time for them.”
He credits his success to Kendall Stiles, the director of the GIVE Center.
“She gave me a job and encouraged me to apply for higher positions with GC Miracle when she hardly knew me,” he said. “Kendall recently let me do a “Lunch and Learn” session today. I was the first student to conduct one. She believed in me and saw that potential in me.”
Zawoysky’s next step is to land a position with a communication, management or marketing-based company. In addition, he wants to volunteer his time with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity and GC Miracle as an active alumnus.
“The first position I had on the board with GC Miracle was director of Alumni Relations,” he said. “I just love the support from alumni. I want to challenge myself.”