Dance Marathon at University of Florida raises $1.5 million for CMN Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital

Photo Courtesy of Dance Marathon at UF


In the world of running, 26.2 miles is the ultimate test of endurance and tenacity. But that number stands for so much more. It stands for overcoming. It stands for persistence. At the University of Florida, it stands for a commitment to advancing pediatric healthcare through Miracle Network Dance Marathon.

For 30 years, DM at UF has rallied students to stand and remain awake for 26.2 hours in solidarity with children battling pediatric illness. This years’ Main Event, held from April 13-14, saw DM at UF raise $1,531,518.24 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

Fueled by their year-long fundraising mission, “Fight for More,” the dancers’ effort culminated at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for their final push. Amidst the enthusiasm and excitement at the Main Event, more tender moments found their place, such as the impactful times when Miracle Families cut the wristbands off of participants, signifying the day when childhood illness no longer exists and each child will have their own hospital wristband removed.

At the heart of the event were the stories shared by 11 Miracle Families whose experiences highlighted the power that CMN Hospitals, Dance Marathon and UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital have to make a difference for the young patients and families. Their stories served as a tangible reminder of the real meaning behind Dance Marathon and its Main Event.

The impact of Dance Marathon was felt far beyond the confines of the Stephen C. O’ Connell Center, however. Leading up to the Main Event, local high schools joined the cause, hosting their own Mini Marathons that contributed $205,879.99 to DM at UF’s total.

Over the course of three decades, DM at UF has raised more than $32,000,000 for CMN Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. The largest student-run and highest-fundraising philanthropy in the southeastern United States, their mission to bring together the campus and community to raise funds for UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital remains steadfast.

Beyond the impressive fundraising totals lies a deeper purpose. Donations to DM at UF are shared amongst three vital areas to the hospital: patient care, research and education. These funds provide essential resources, from medial equipment to innovative therapies, creating an environment of healing and hope for pediatric patients and their families. Donations from supporters like you can help change the future of kids’ health by advancing these vital areas.