Students participating in Dance Marathon at three major Florida universities raised record-breaking totals for Children’s Miracle Network and Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida this spring. In fact, Dance Marathon at UF broke the million-dollar mark for the first time.
The UF event, which was held April 13-14, raised $1,168,722. It was the 19th year for Dance Marathon at UF and included 830 dancers moving and shaking for 26.2 hours in support of CMN and the patients at Shands Hospital for Children.
That same weekend, Knight-Thon at the University of Central Florida hosted almost 1,000 people at its annual event, raising more than $258,000 for Greater Orlando CMN Hospitals, of which their funds are split between Shands Hospital for Children at UF and Arnold Palmer Medical Center.
In addition, a few weeks earlier, Dance Marathon at Florida State University raised more than $700,000 for CMN and Shands Hospital for Children.
“The funds raised from these extraordinary student-run events will help us continue our commitment to providing the highest quality of care for the kids at Shands Hospital for Children,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF&Shands Health System. “The dollars will be put to immediate use toward construction of our new neonatal intensive care unit, purchasing needed equipment and supporting faculty research that is directed at improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.”
Raising a million dollars is a huge milestone for Dance Marathon at UF. The event began in 1995 with just 81 dancers, who stayed on their feet for 32 hours and raised $12,424 for Shands Hospital for Children at UF.
“It was great to be part of something bigger than myself, and it’s surreal that we broke $1 million,” said UF sophomore Melissa Dukes. “It’s a sign of how people can pull together and help others.”