‘Idol’ winner Maddie Poppe to sing ‘for the kids’


Some musicians perform for fame. Others for money. Still more do it for the love of the craft.

During an upcoming concert sponsored by UNI Dance Marathon, however, ABC’s “American Idol” winner Maddie Poppe will be singing “for the kids.”

Poppe will perform on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

“We have it with Maddie that she’s going to be performing for 90 minutes,” said Abbey Koerperich, a senior psychology major who is the executive co-director of UNI Dance Marathon. “Then there will be 30 minutes of Dance Marathon-related information filtered throughout the entire performance, so it’s not going to be all at once. We have a couple of videos planned, and Mariah and I, the other executive co-director, will be on stage giving our plugs about Dance Marathon. You can donate while you’re there physically at the concert or online.”

During the concert, Maddie Poppe will be auctioning off a few items of her own. According to Koerperich, another surprise is being planned for the event by UNI Dance Marathon.

While tickets are currently sold out, people are still able to register for Dance Marathon by emailing Abbey Koerperich or Mariah Staebell.

UNI Dance Marathon raises money to benefit the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, which mostly goes directly to kids and families in the hospital. So far, the organization has funded three different rooms within the hospital and has provided the capability to hire a second transport team. They have also helped the hospital purchase a new pediatric ambulance.

Donations for UNI Dance Marathon are divided based on need.

“Let’s say if you were to donate to me today to the donor drive, the online bank where it goes,” Koerperich said. “They cut us the check for how much we’ve raised, and then we give that directly to the hospital. Some of the money goes into a general fund, which can buy parking passes for the families or a meal for a family. Sometimes we can do a special fund for a project, otherwise we can make it go towards the general fund for the hospital.”

Poppe recently accompanied Koerperich and other Dance Marathon members on a tour of the hospital to visit patients. Poppe was moved by the children as she visited them. One patient, a little girl, asked Poppe for her guitar. She gave it to her as a present and the absence of her guitar was a surprise to the others who went on the tour with her. By visiting the hospital, Koerperich and Poppe felt as if the work that they had been doing was put into a new perspective.

“We really hope that people remember that Dance Marathon proceeds go to the hospital,” Koerperich said. “You may think that it doesn’t affect you, but you probably know at least three people affected by a children’s hospital. We’re excited to jam out with Maddie Poppe, but we want people to know that the proceeds go directly to the kiddos in our community.”