From April 2-3, more than 800 students at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center danced their way into Shands Kids’ hearts to the tune of $713,053.68. This is a new record for this event by more than $195,000. This money will go to Children’s Miracle Network at Shands Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida.
The 26.2-hour event represents the actual distance participants run in a marathon and symbolizes the struggle so many of our children patients face every day at Shands Children’s Hospital at UF. Dancers were inspired to keep standing by listening to stories of Shands Children’s Hospital Ambassador families. There were 34 miracle kids came to visit the event this year.
Dance Marathon is a campus-wide event. The student dancers stay awake and their feet for 26.2 hours to raise money and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network at Shands Children’s Hospital at UF. In addition to the 800 dancers, an additional 600 student volunteers helped run the event. Participants raise money all year long through pre-events, a letter writing campaign and online fundraising.
Dance Marathon at UF has now raised more than $4.5 million, making this event the largest and most successful student-run philanthropy in the Southeastern United States. Proceeds are used to purchase life-saving medical equipment, fund pediatric research and purchase diversionary activities such as computers, games and toys. These funds stay local to benefit pediatric patients at Shands Children’s Hospital at UF.
Thanks to everyone who made Dance Marathon at UF 2011 such a record-breaking success.