November 18, 2008
Rollins students, faculty, staff and the community joined together Saturday, Nov. 15 to raise money for the Greater Orlando Children's Miracle Network, a nonprofit organization that benefits local children's hospitals.
The event included 12 hours of non-stop dancing, music, games, food and entertainment. Miracle families and children who have benefited from Children’s Miracle Network were also on hand to share their stories and show participants how their efforts benefit real people.
More than 120 dancers participated by remaining in constant movement to honor the physical and mental struggle faced daily by children with terminal or critical illnesses. The student dancers spent the past semester collecting donations for the Children's Miracle Network in order to participate in this final event.
“Dance Marathon was a tremendous success," said Rollins Dance Marathon Advisor Marianne Howe. "It is truly a unique event for the Rollins campus, it is entirely student run and it brings students from all walks of life across campus together united in a cause allowing them to build new friendships while making a difference for Children’s Miracle Network and the miracle families."
A variety of events were held to support the Dance Marathon. From the Faculty and Staff Stroll-a-thon to sorority bake sales, the Dance Marathon team was able to raise $29,000 and counting!
Millions of children each year benefit from Children's Miracle Network efforts to raise money for research and treatment. Children's Miracle Network hospitals treat 17 million children each year for every disease and condition imaginable. Local Children’s Miracle Network affiliated hospitals include Shands Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Women and Children in Orlando.
“The students serving as executive board, moralers and dancers made a connection with the mission of Children's Miracle Network," Howe said. "They say the best part of the event is meeting the miracle children and hearing their stories.”
According to Dance Marathon Assistant Director Patrick McKelvey (Class of 2009), the event was fun and moving. Non Compis Mentis (NCM) won the Miracle Cup – a combination of spirit and money raised. "This organization is one of the smallest Greek organizations on campus and one of two local fraternities and sororities on our campus," McKelvey said. "So it was a big deal for them to win the most prestigious award at Dance Marathon.”
To support the students' efforts, Rollins faculty and staff invited the community to participate in the first-ever Stroll-a-thon, a two-mile stroll around campus, which benefited Rollins’ Dance Marathon. From speed walkers to leisurely meanderers, all were welcome at the Stroll-a-thon, including children in and out of strollers and pets on a leash.
Dance Marathon Executive Director Emily Killian (class of 2009) was “very pleased with the participation of not only the students -- but the faculty, staff and administration.”
If you would like to donate more money to this cause, Dance Marathon is still accepting donations through the end of December, please mail checks made out to "Greater Orlando Children's Miracle Network" with "Rollins College Dance Marathon" in the memo to Rollins College 1000 Holt Ave. Campus Box 2789 Winter Park, FL 32789.
Dance Marathon is the largest and most successful student-run philanthropy at Rollins College. Last year's inaugural event raised more than $35,000; was named the "Best New Dance Marathon" out of 17 launched nationally last year; and was recognized as the most successful first-year dance marathon ever produced in the event's 13-year history.
The Children's Miracle Network Dance Marathon was founded by students in 1991 in the memory of Ryan White. Since its inception it has grown to over 100 universities and colleges across the country. All entirely student run, all donating 100 percent of the funds they raise directly to their local children's hospital, Dance Marathons have become a tradition on campus and in the community.
According to the Children's Miracle Network, last year college dance marathons raised more than $5 million for their local children’s hospitals.