Sophia Joanna Dodd is a student at Wake Forest University (WFU), where her classroom performance earned her recognition on the school’s Dean’s List. She also played setter on WFU’s varsity volleyball team and was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) All-Academic Team in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Outside of these academic and extracurricular accomplishments, Sophia Joanna Dodd has participated in Wake ‘N Shake, an annual dance marathon held on the WFU campus to raise money for cancer research.
Every spring, the Wake ‘N Shake event challenges WFU students, faculty, and alumni to complete a 12-hour dance marathon. Dancers ask friends, family, and businesses to sponsor their participation with donations, and proceeds for the event benefit the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund. The namesake of this organization was a notable WFU alumnus and Chicago Bears running back whose courageous battle against terminal cancer was the subject of the movie Brian’s Song.
Around 300 students participated in the inaugural Wake ‘N Shake in 2006, raising $30,000. By 2016, those numbers had grown to 1,400 students raising more than $300,000. This makes it WFU’s largest philanthropic event, in terms of both number of participants and amount of money raised. Sponsors for the event include local businesses in the Winston-Salem area as well as national corporations like Aramark, Little Caesar’s, and Trader Joe’s. During the event, dancers are treated to games, prizes, food, motivational speakers, and live entertainment.