SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Last weekend, students at South Glens Falls Senior High School raised $630,111 for families and organizations fighting cancers and other illnesses. In its 46th year, the South High Marathon Dance hit an important lifetime mark – over $10 million raised since the event’s inception.

On Friday, Congressman Paul Tonko gave that hard work a shoutout on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The NY-20 representative commended student and faculty efforts and spirit to keep the goodwill flowing, and the dance going, year after year.

“The success of this marathon dance is proof of the remarkable things our students and young people can achieve. I had the honor of joining them last weekend, seeing firsthand their enthusiasm and their heart. United by music, dance and a resounding spirit of giving, these students demonstrate the power that lies in a love of community and desire to do good, and fills me with hope for their future and ours. They are movers and shakers in every sense – they are leaders of today,” he said.

This year’s South High Marathon Dance took on a “fantasy” theme, with a hand-crafted dragon looming over the school gymnasium. The fire-breathing lizard and other decorations were crafted by students, and put in place with help from faculty. A student council decides on every year’s theme, as well as what beneficiaries will be helped by the fundraising. In 2023, 22 beneficiaries were chosen.

This year was also something of a homecoming, marking the South High Marathon Dance’s return to the school after two years spent dancing at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George. The move was made to accommodate social distancing – but the return has been welcomed by the community. Tonko’s words were a reminder that even the South Glens Falls area’s world can make a difference seen by many.

“While the South High Marathon Dance is a unique local event, serving primarily a three-county area surrounding South Glens Falls, it’s a great feeling to know that the efforts of our students, volunteers and community are getting recognized in our nation’s capitol,” said the South High Marathon Dance board of directors in a statement. “We would like to especially thank Congressman Paul Tonko for speaking to our students at the beginning of the event, and then coming back the next night to again address them at the closing. The enthusiasm he exhibited, dancing with our students and giving them his time and kind words, was much appreciated – and it was obvious that a lot of the students – as well as our recipients – were thrilled with the attention he gave them and our cause.”