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outside of florida state football stadium
outside of florida state football stadium
Original photo by Lauren Sparling

How Students Leave Their Legacy at Dance Marathon

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Each year, Dance Marathon at Florida State University holds the “Leave Your Legacy” event fundraiser. This year, the two-day event took place from Jan. 25 to 26. Here’s everything you need to know.

According to DM at FSU, “Dance Marathon is a year-long student-led initiative which aims to raise funds and awareness for children in need of specialized pediatric medical care that is otherwise not available to them locally.” The initiative takes place throughout the school year holding several events and fundraising pushes. The marathon consists of over 1,800 students, or dancers, who stay up and on their feet for 30 hours in honor of children who can’t. 

The Leave Your Legacy event “encourages dancers and fundraisers to think about how they want to leave their legacy on our campus, on our beneficiaries, and on our cause.” This year DM at FSU’s Leave Your Legacy (LYL) is shouting out one of its major beneficiaries, The FSU College of Medicine’s pediatric outreach programs. LYL is highlighting the impact Dance Marathon participants and donations have had on children who suffer from respiratory illnesses and diseases. The pediatric outreach programs that Leave Your Legacy chooses to feature, “directly benefit and help the local Tallahassee community by providing a variety of services like county school clinics, mobile dental office, a variety of helpful programs, and so much more.” Highlighting these outreach programs demonstrates the power that FSU students have to produce real-life change. 

Each year, DM creates incentives for students to participate. This year, the organization created a Leave Your Legacy Challenge Card for students to complete different challenges. If participants completed five out of the six challenges on the card, they earned an LYL wristband. Another item the organization created was an LYL patch. DM at FSU’s year-long incentive is a belt bag that can be earned by collecting at least three patches throughout the year. 

Leave Your Legacy officially began at three pm on Jan. 25. One of the LYL events was supposed to be Gong on Tour, where the organization planned on traveling with a gong to each facility house of the organizations registered with Dance Marathon. Typically, members of these organizations would hit the gong, symbolizing the amount of money they raised. However, due to the weather, this event was unfortunately canceled. Luckily, DM at FSU had plenty more events planned for the fundraiser push.

On Wednesday night, the organization teamed up with a local restaurant, Little Masa, for a share-it night. From six to ten pm, a portion of the profits from Little Masa sales went towards Dance Marathon when customers mentioned they were with the organization. DM at FSU ended the night with a matching hour. For one hour, participants who raised $25 were matched with $25 to be put back into their fundraising page from the organization itself. To wrap up the first day of Leave Your Legacy, the organization held team meetings and shouted out some of the top fundraisers of the day. 

The second day of Leave Your Legacy began at 8:30 a.m. with an internal wakeup. DM at FSU members spent most of the day on Landis Green for their Landis Programming event, where they helped participants fundraise and spread awareness about the organization’s mission. Dance Marathon was back at it again with another share-it night, this time partnering with Solle’s Italian Pizza from 4-8 p.m. Before ending the night and Leave Your Legacy, DM at FSU held a Fundraising Faceoff event from 7-9 p.m. During the faceoff, the organization had another matching hour. This time matching up to $100 in donations, for one final push before tallying the results. 

The final reveal took place on Langford Green where Dance Marathon announced that they raised a whopping $75,943.36 in just two days. This number is over $5,000 higher than last year’s Leave Your Legacy push, exhibiting just how much hard work and dedication went towards this year’s event. While Leave Your Legacy may be over for this year, there are still many opportunities to get involved with Dance Marathon. Whether it’s registering to be a dancer or making a small donation, every act counts and makes a real-world difference. For more information on how to get involved check out their website!

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Hey! I'm Isly and I am a freshman majoring in English (Editing, Writing, & Media) at Florida State University. Some of my interests include searching for new music, analyzing films, planning out my outfits, or fantasizing about my dream life.