Dance Marathon club raises money for children’s hospital
Dance Marathon is a nonprofit organization that organizes annual dances to raise money for the All Children’s Hospital. All the money raised is donated to the hospital. The event lasts 12 hours and participants dance the entire time. During the year, Dance Marathon club members organize different events such as a 5K to fundraise money as well.
Dance Marathon will hold its second annual 5K on Feb. 14. The race will take place on the main campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. Registration for the run will take place at the bus loop at 8:30 a.m., and the race will start at 9 a.m.
Jasmyne White, senior resort and hospitality and business major, is the president of Dance Marathon. “It’s a great way to give back to the community,” White said. “We really are making a difference in these kids’ lives. It just feels good to be a part of something so amazing. Just seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces at Dance Marathon makes all of the hard work worth it.”
Along with hosting fundraising events, Dance Marathon tries to inform the community about the All Children’s Hospital.
“Many people don’t know that the closest children’s hospital is in St. Petersburg, Florida.” White said. “I have met so many families from Fort Myers that make weekly and monthly visits to St. Petersburg to get certain procedures done. Dance Marathon really helps the families in the Fort Myers community.”
According to White, 25 people are registered to run the 5K and 184 people have registered for the Dance Marathon. “Our goal is to have 250 people at the main event this year,” White said.
“We have raised $3,719.62 for Dance Marathon as of January 28,” White said.
Ishbel Correa, junior community health major, has been involved in Dance Marathon since it was brought to FGCU three years ago. She currently holds the morale captain chair position.
“Standing for those 12 hours knowing you stood for a better tomorrow and to give them hope is all worth it,” Correa said.
Dance Marathon uses the hashtag #FTK, on social media to promote Dance Marathon. This stands for “For the Kids.” The 5K is being promoted as #FT5K.
“Everything you do is for the kids to be able to give them a chance and to open up new opportunities that they may not have had in the past,” Correa said.
FGCU students, faculty, staff, alumni and all members of the community can register for any events held by Dance Marathon. The registration price for the 5K is $15. However, if participants want a t-shirt, too, the registration is $20.
White said anyone who is interested in registering for the main event can search ‘Dance Marathon: FGCU’ on Facebook. There is a direct link next to the ‘Like’ button. Just click ‘Sign-up’ and it will redirect you to registration for Dance Marathon.