UI Dance Marathon breaks record - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI Dance Marathon breaks record


IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- After 24 hours of non-stop dancing, the 17th annual University of Iowa Dance Marathon drew to a close Saturday having raised a record-breaking $1,220,146.17 for pediatric cancer programs at University of Iowa Children's Hospital. That figure is up approximately $160,000 from last year.

A total of 1,350 dancers participated in the event, which started at 7 p.m. Friday and was held in the Main Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union. Working year-round to reach their individual goal, each dancer must raise $400 to attend the big event. More than 1,000 family members of patients were also in attendance, the largest turnout in event history.

Along with the non-stop dancing and live musical performances, the event featured a "graduation ceremony" for children entering their fifth year of remission from cancer. Other events included a Dancing in Our Hearts luncheon remembering 128 children who lost their battle to cancer, and a mini-marathon at UI Children's Hospital with the Dance Marathon members joined by Herky and Perky.

"Dance Marathon was a successful celebration of all the hard work that so many people have put in over the past year," Dance Marathon Executive Director Kyle Walters said. "All of the families and dancers came together to make the 24 hours an extremely successful and memorable event. The record-breaking total was incredible, and we would like to thank everyone who made this miracle possible."

This year, 250 students on the Dance Marathon leadership team committed to raising $500 each, in addition to the year-long volunteer effort. Elyse Meardon received the Lisa Baum top individual fundraiser award, raising $5,435. Kappa Alpha Theta received the Mary Peterson top Greek chapter award, raising $16,958.83.

Over the past 17 years, UI Dance Marathon, which is the largest student-run philanthropic organization at the UI, has raised more than $9.8 million to support pediatric oncology programs at UI Children's Hospital. Dance Marathon works with the UI Office of Student Life and the Children's Miracle Network, an organization established to generate funds and awareness programs for the benefit of children served by affiliate hospitals.

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