What $2.2 Million Can Buy Thanks To Dance Marathon At FSU

What $2.2 Million Can Buy Thanks To Dance Marathon At FSU

FSU raised a record-breaking $2.2 Million 'For The Kids' which will go towards Children's Miracle Networks Hospitals and Gadsden County children.

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Dance Marathon at Florida State University is not just a weekend event full of fun activities, it is a yearlong movement where students vow to fundraise money for those impacted by pediatric illness and injury and stand for those that can't. Since September, and even prior to that, myself and so many others across FSU's campus have been fundraising for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and FSU College of Medicine Outreach Programs. This money and the number that represents it is much more than a total reveal, or a picture that is used to promote the cause around campus. This dollar amount is going towards saving lives, making miracles, and creating comfort for those families that are stuck at Shands or other Children's Miracle Network Hospitals for days, weeks, or even months at a time.

Over winter break, Dance Marathon at FSU hosted an incentive-based challenge for its members: If you raise $100 or more in a specific 10 day period over inter break you were able to go tour the place where all the miracles are made, Shands Children's Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. I was fortunate enough to complete the challenge and go for my tour in early January. This experience was truly life changing as I walked through this hospital seeing firsthand the impact I am making by raising money. Not only was I touched by the brave patients I saw confined to the walls of the hospital, some even stuck in their beds, but I was touched by their families.

For those of you that have never been to Shands, it is unlike any hospital you have ever been to previously. The floors are themed, it is extremely kid-friendly, and the staff is always happy and helpful. I'm so thankful I have never had to have an experience at Shands or another children's hospital, however, if I had to- this is the place I'd want to be. Aside from the fact that they have some of the best-trained doctors and professionals, they take care of the families just as well as they take care of their patients. From hearing various families tell their stories & factoring in plain old common sense- it's clear that when you have to head to the hospital, you normally don't have much time to prepare. That is why Children's Miracle Network helps Shands stock its walls with games, DVDs, video game consoles, and even washing machines/dryers. The money that FSU raises at Dance Marathon goes towards paying for things like this; the little things that keep the families covered when they have approximately five minutes to pack and start driving to the hospital and forget some of the essentials. It is also hard, as a parent or sibling, to think of yourself in an emergency situation like this. Therefore, Shands also has adult movies and things to keep the families entertained as they will stay with their poor child & likely not be prepared for the stay themselves.

Though Dance Marathon at FSU mainly hypes up Children's Miracle Network, we also shine a light on another beneficiary of our marathon that receives half of the proceeds, FSU College of Medicine Pediatric Outreach Programs. These programs help underprivileged kids in Gadsden County receive health care through school, due to the fact that this area is overwhelmingly poor and most inhabitants of Gadsden cannot afford normal healthcare.

FSU Splits their total directly in half and donates one portion to CMN hospitals and the other to the outreach programs. So, the big question is... what do these dollars fund? Our donors and fundraising efforts are able to fund ALL SORTS of things and anything in a CMN hospital that was funded by Dance Marathon has a miracle balloon sticker somewhere on it. Some things that Dance Marathon funds are Hospital beds, fish tanks, hospital equipment, carts to hold medicine and nurses medical tools, Child Life Specialists, in-hospital entertainment, Nurses for Gadsden County schools, equipment for these nurses to have an essentially fully running doctors office, and so much more.

So to our donors, I hope this gives you a piece of mind after donating to help benefit kids and families you do not know. Without you, we would not have been able to raise $2.2 Million, make 2.2 Million miracles, or continue to break past records and make even more miracles and money annually. If there are any more questions, please feel free to check out the UF Health Shands website. For those of you that missed out this year, I highly encourage you to keep your eye out for dancer registration dates for Dance Marathon 2020, and even internal applications on our website.


Hope to see y'all next year!! This is High School Programs Captain, Ilana, signing off. Goodnight Dance Marathon at FSU 2019.

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20 Ways To Fundraise For Dance Marathon

For the kids.
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Dance Marathon is more than a fundraising event; it is a movement. The event is all about the kids who are battling chronic illnesses at Children’s Hospital, and that is why our slogan is #FTK—for the kids. Dance Marathon is the place where sick kids can forget about their illness and just be a kid: dancing, laughing, and having the time of their life! While the kids are the center of Dance Marathon, the money raised for Children’s Hospital is also important. Once you are registered for Dance Marathon, you have a goal of raising a minimum of $100. That number may seem daunting, but here are some pointers on how you can fundraise $100 or more for Children’s Hospital:


Put social media to work!

1. Post your donor drive link with information about what DM is and why you want to fundraise for it. Add a personal touch, and make sure to say that even the smallest donation helps.

2. Agree to post an embarrassing middle school picture for every $5 donation.

3. Tweet to celebrities about DM, and ask them to donate to your donor drive.


Make it personal.

4. Ask your family and friends for donations at holiday parties or other gatherings.

5. Hand write a letter to distant family members about what DM is and why you want to raise money for the cause.

6. Ask your family members for donations to your donor drive instead of birthday presents. They will be proud of your commitment and selflessness!


Get creative!

7. Over the weekend, offer to be the designated driver for your friends, and collect small donations as the FTKab fair.

8. Sell your old clothes to Plato’s Closet, and donate the money to your donor drive.

9. Deliver food or coffee to your friends across campus for a small donation.

10. Have a Miracle Jean’s Day! Ask your workplace to allow employees to wear jeans for a day if they donate $5 to your donor drive.


Think small.

11. Walk around with a DM bucket at a basketball game or other large event and ask for small donations. You only need one-hundred $1 donations, fifty $2 donations, or twenty $5 donations.

12. Ask your family and friends to help you save spare change—it all adds up faster with the more people you have on board!

13. Doughnuts! Buy a few boxes of doughnuts and sell them for $1 or $2 each in a popular area on campus. The profits add up fast!

14. Put $1 in a piggy bank every day leading up to the event.

15. Give up buying coffee or snacks for a week, and donate that money to DM. Ask your friends and family to join you, too. The more the merrier!


Get crafty!

16. Offer to make crafty things for your sorority sisters’ big/little week, and ask for donations in return.

17. Use your artsy talents to sell items on Etsy, and put the money towards your donor drive.


Get your parents involved.

18. Ask your parents to sponsor your grades FTK! Make a deal that for every ‘A’ you get on a test or quiz, they will donate a few dollars.

19. Ask them to donate an hour of their time once a month by simply donating the equivalent of an hour’s pay to your donor drive.

20. Do housework or run errands for a donation.


Encourage your friends to register for DM with you. Fundraising together makes it more fun, and you can challenge and support each other in your efforts. Don’t feel bad about asking people for money. If they want to give, they will. It shows courage and that you have a true passion for this cause. You have the resources, so put in the hard work, and you will raise that $100 or more easy, peasy.

Cover Image Credit: UI Dance Marathon

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