Auburn University’s fifth annual Dance Marathon was held in the Student Center Ballroom on Feb. 6. Participants stood and danced for 14 hours “For The Kids” and raised $424,617.01 to donate to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. This is a 78% increase from funds raised last year.
From 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., over 1,400 participants and 150 staff members danced and continued to reach out to potential donors. Approximately 45 percent of the funds were raised by non-staff member participants, which is a significant increase from last year.
Julia Wiard, coordinator of leadership and service programs in the Office of Student Involvement, works directly with students to plan the event. “Our student staff also came up with several new and innovative ways to fundraise throughout the year, which really helped to increase the total and being awareness to their cause,” said Wiard. “Campus support for this program this year was incredible.”
Participants were invited to learn a line dance, play group games and enjoy performances from entertainment groups like Tim Tyler, AU Rhythm, AU Cappella, Caroline Jackson, Logan Pace, DJ Sagz and DJ Connor Moore. In between performances and scheduled activities, Miracle families took the stage and shared their experiences with Children’s Miracle Network.
The money from fundraising efforts that occur through various events throughout the year is given to the Children’s Hospital at Midtown Medical Center of Columbus Regional Health. According to the Auburn University Dance Marathon website, the money raised “helps the hospital purchase specialized equipment, alleviate health care costs for families, and provide exceptional care to all children and their families.”
“This is a great way for Auburn students to be engaged in their community,”said Wiard. “I think all of our student staff would agree that it is not about the total at all, but being part of something that has such a big and lasting impact on the hospital and the kids.”
Prior to the event, AUDM announced a public fundraising goal of $395,000. Upon meeting that goal on Feb.6, AUDM has officially raised over a million dollars in five years.