Tears and shouts of joy erupted on Homer Drew Court when the Dance Marathon executive board revealed the event had raised a record-shattering $69,872.05 for Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
For comparison, the event raised just over $42,000 last year, according to Dance Marathon Executive Director Shannon Egan.
“I couldn’t even cry right away because I was so speechless,” Egan said, referring to the moment she saw the total.
The big reveal of the total came at the end of 12 hours of Valpo students being up on their feet to “dance like a fool” in support of the Children’s Miracle Network hospital. The total combines the funds raised during the 12-hour marathon itself with the money collected leading up to the event.
“This whole day didn’t even feel like 12 hours,” Egan said. “We really kept the momentum going throughout the day.”
Momentum was in large supply with 551 registered dancers attending the event, according to Egan. Each dancer was required to raise a minimum of $30 to participate on April 1, but many students raised more.
Though Egan was thrilled with the total, she said at the end of the day it wasn’t just the money that mattered.
“We’re doing it for the kids, the families, the doctors, for Lurie’s,” she said. “Everything’s for them.”
She emphasized her pride in the participants, her fellow Dance Marathon executive board members and the members of the morale team, who were there to keep energy high during the event.
“There are children and their families that have to go through (illness), and that we could just give 12 hours of our day, especially as college students, it’s really so minimal to what they (the families) have to give every single day, so I’m really inspired by all my peers,” Egan said. “I’m definitely proud of everyone who stuck it out the whole day.”
Along with the 12-hour event on Saturday, the Dance Marathon executive board hosted a number of other fundraising events throughout the year, which contributed to the total. These events included the FT5K, a silent auction during family weekend and push weeks for fundraising.
“Dance Marathon isn’t just today,” Egan said. “It’s a year-round thing. It’s every day thinking about those kids and the things that we are able to give them.”