On Feb. 8, students can enjoy 12 straight hours of dancing, food, live bands and magic carpet rides. It’s not Dunk City’s newest nightclub …it’s Dance Marathon. The national organization took its fi rst steps on Florida Gulf Coast University’s campus just under three years ago and was started by fi ve passionate students and one advisor. Today, the registered student organization has grown to six advisors, 18 members and produced an event last year that hosted approximately 300 students. Dance Marathon is an event put on across the nation by different universities, and 100 percent of the proceeds raised go toward the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
The charity has been around for over 27 years and raises funds for more than 170 children’s hospitals across the country. All of the donations are used to fund charitable care, life-saving equipment, research and programs that save and impact the lives of 17 million children annually.
Director of FGCU’s Dance Marathon, Jacob Robinson, explains DM is more than just a typical fundraising event at FGCU. “People may look at the event and think it’s just another service event. But it’s more than just an event. It’s a movement and a way of life.”
Robinson said that the members of FGCU Dance Marathon work year-round to brainstorm ways to raise funding for the cause and hopes the rest of the campus will adapt to the movement.
“We eventually want the event to be so big that we can do it in Alico and have thousands of students come out, ” Robinson said.
FGCU DM’s public relations chair Kaela Krakoski shares the same enthusiasm about the upcoming event. Krakoski said that her involvement with DM was ignited by the involvement of her friends and hearing the personal stories of those greatly impacted by the donations.
“As soon as I went to the first meeting and honed into a personal story, it helped me see beyond the big picture.”
Both Robinson and Krakoski said that a visit FGCU DM took to the All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg was a motivating and “truly life changing experience” that sparked the motivation to make DM a success at FGCU.
DM family relations chair Katy Reinke encourages all of FGCU to join the movement that is Dance Marathon.
“It’s a life-changing experience and a great way to get involved in something meaningful on campus.” This year’s second annual Dance Marathon will be Aladdin themed and participants are encouraged to dress comfortably and be ready to “dance into a whole new world for those who can’t.”
The event will start at 12 p.m. on Feb. 8 and will run until 12 a.m. on Feb. 9 in the Cohen Center Ballroom. Donations can be made at the event or through the Dance Marathon FGCU website: www.dmfgcu.wix.com/ Dance
For more information, contact [email protected]
Photo courtesy of Dance Marathon’s Facebook page. Students at last year’s Dance Marathon event donating their time to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.