Dancing marathon brings in $34K for hospital

By Deanna Frances

Students raised about $34,761 fundraising for charity in an eight-hour dance marathon.

The first annual NIU Dance Marathon for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals was held for eight hours Saturday at the Recreation Center. Dance Marathon is a movement involving college and high school students at more than 150 schools across the country, all raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network hospital in their community, according to DanceMarathon.com.

After fundraising, which srated in October, organizations and students were asked to participate in the dance and activity marathon to “dance for those who can’t.”

“The best part of all of this is seeing the families and knowing that everything you’re doing is going to a good cause,” said junior engineering major Kara Homolka.

Sororities, fraternities, athletic teams and friends participated in the marathon. The students raised a total of $34,761.26 to donate to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, said Andrea Blanchet, a Delta Zeta member and participant of the event.

“The funds go where the need is,” said Children’s Hospital representative Julie Troyer. “Some goes to research while some goes to toys for the children, and some even pays for care for low-income families.”

Troyer said even though this was her first time assisting with a dance marathon for a hospital, the events have been an important part of her life for quite some time.

“I did dance marathons in college,” Troyer said. “And it’s great that I can continue to help. You really see how much you can affect a person’s life.”

Local families that have children treated at the hospital were able to attend the event. They told personal stories, and the children participated in events like face painting and volleyball and soccer games with college students.

“It’s great to know that we are contributing in some way,” said Toma Balaci, freshman industrial mechanics major. “We’re here to have fun and to support the kids.”