Rivals Florida State University and the University of Florida learn to put their differences aside when it comes to raising money for Children’s Miracle Network at Shands Children’s Hospital at UF. This year, Dance Marathon at the two schools raised nearly $1 million combined (FSU raised $455,507 and UF raised $517,260). Half of FSU’s amount was donated to FSU’s College of Medicine.
This year to celebrate its 15th anniversary, FSU changed its event from one 32-hour dance shift into two 20-hour shifts with a four-hour break in between. Each shift had about 600 dancers, and the event was held Feb. 13-15, in the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee.
UF Dance Marathon was April 10-11, in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on the UF campus in Gainesville. The event increased from 650 dancers in 2009 to 725 in 2010 who stayed awake and on their feet for 26.2 hours. With more than $3.7 million raised for Children’s Miracle Network and Shands Children’s Hospital since its inception in 1995, Dance Marathon at UF is the largest student-run philanthropy in the Southeastern United States.
Dance Marathon is a campus-wide event at both FSU and UF. Both schools host community events throughout the year, and participants are encouraged to raise money prior to the main events each spring. Proceeds from both Dance Marathons are used to purchase life-saving medical equipment, fund pediatric research and purchase diversionary items, such as computers, games and toys. For more information, please visit www.shandskids.org.