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HuskyTHON Wins the Love’s Ideal Business Partner Pitch Competition at DMLC 2020!

For the past 5 years, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has been an extraordinary partner to Miracle Network Dance Marathon. Love’s has shown continued dedication to building strong communities around the country, building a better future for families around the country, and building an entrepreneurial spirit in Dance Marathon students across the country.

During Dance Marathon Leadership Conference in 2020, Love’s was the presenting sponsor of the Ideal Business Partner Pitch Competition. The Love’s Ideal Business Partner Pitch exercise is an opportunity for Miracle Million Club Dance Marathon programs to go through a mock corporate partner pitch presentation for CMN Hospitals and Love’s staff members who have years of experience in building meaningful partnerships and leading cause marketing in the nonprofit sector. This experience is designed to help build the core competency of student leaders in identifying and valuing their Dance Marathon program assets, building a pitch deck, and executing a pitch. Ultimately, this experience serves as an opportunity for continued growth and development of our student leaders. In their sponsorship of the competition, Love’s is committed to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit of Dance Marathon and helping this movement have the biggest impact possible in their local communities.

HuskyTHON at the University of Connecticut was the winner of this year’s Ideal Business Partner Pitch competition. As their prize for winning, HuskyTHON will receive a $5,000 donation to their local hospital made by Love’s! Erin Mulhall, the Executive Director for HuskyTHON 2021, shares that the Ideal Business Partner experience was a necessary learning opportunity for her and her team: “We learned how to build a pitch from start to finish, beginning with valuing our assets and working up from there. We also learned what entices partners within a pitch and what things partners may want to see within a pitch, such as their logo on our shirt.” Erin shared that, while only a few team members were able to actually participate in this experience, the feedback that they received from the panelists contains information that they will be able to implement in all areas of their organization, “we have brought a lot of what we have learned back to the entire HuskyTHON management team, who will be able to utilize these best practices in their positions, as well as pass the information along to other students.”

Students presented their pitch virtually, over Zoom, during DMLC 2020.

This experience also offered programs the opportunity to understand what pitching to partners should look like virtually. Programs were challenged to think about what they could offer potential partners in lieu of event attendance, product sampling, or in-person exposure. As our communities come together to adapt to current events, this was a great chance for programs to hear in real-time what potential partners need and prioritize in today’s world. Erin shared feelings of gratitude for this opportunity, “We are so appreciative of Dance Marathon and Love’s for giving us this incredible opportunity! It was a learning and growing experience, and amidst a pandemic we were able to focus our energy on something meaningful that will set us up for success for the coming years.”

Founded in 1964 by Tom and Judy Love, The Love’s Family of Companies continues to grow. Love’s currently operates 510 stores in 41 states and is continuously expanding. Love’s has a long-standing tradition of supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and is proudly celebrating over 20 years of making miracles with local children’s hospitals and has been a proud partner of many of the Dance Marathon programs who attended DMLC.

On July 14th, 2020, Love’s launched a Round Up campaign in their stores. Customers can round up the change on any in-store purchase to the nearest dollar, with the difference going to Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. Customers will also be able to donate their spare change in CMN canisters near the registers. You can contribute by stopping at a Love’s near you until October 3rd, 2020!

Miracle Network Dance Marathon is an international movement, involving over 400 colleges, universities and K-12 schools across North America that fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since its inception in 1991, Miracle Network Dance Marathon has raised more than $300 million–ensuring that no child or family fights pediatric illness or injury alone.

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