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The total — representative of the student group’s yearlong fundraising efforts — is an increase of almost $30,000 from last year and brings the organization’s 12-year fundraising total to more than $2.5 million.
The year’s fundraising total was revealed at the conclusion of the weekend’s 24-hour UNC Dance Marathon, which featured 1,600 UNC student dancers and a full schedule of performance groups, guest speakers and visits from Children’s Hospital patients and their families. Event highlights included remarks by UNC women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell; setting a Guinness World Record for the longest massage train; and a visit by Keeley Simmen, a patient at Children’s Hospital who has cerebral palsy.
The money raised was a result of numerous fundraising efforts by students. In addition to pledging to stand on their feet for a full 24 hours, the 1,600 students who registered to dance at this year’s marathon each raised at least $150, with one participant raising more than $5,000. The money was added to funds raised at various events organized by the Dance Marathon’s committees throughout the year. These events, developed and coordinated by hundreds of committee members, included a golf tournament, benefit concerts and coin-collecting drives at UNC football and basketball games.
Funds raised by the Dance Marathon support the patients and families of N.C. Children’s Hospital in a number of ways. Each year, the marathon allocates a portion of the fundraising total to its “For the Kids Fund,” which provides for expenses not covered by insurance or Medicaid that families may not otherwise be able to afford. In addition, the marathon offers several divisional grants each year to divisions within the Children’s Hospital’s pediatrics department.
This year’s marathon took place on campus at Fetzer Gym, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, and concluding at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.