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Dance Marathon 2015: Bigger and Better Than Ever

For the first time ever, Dance Marathon (DM) at FSU hosted a benefit concert to help fundraise, and that was just one of many events planned in order to raise more money than ever before. The concert was held at the Moon on January 30th and was headlined by Boyce Avenue, a rock band from Florida that rose to fame on YouTube after covering Katy Perry’s “Firework.”

“We are so incredibly excited to have hosted our first ever benefit concert, which was a huge success!” said Kelsey Knutson, DM External Events Assistant. “We sold over eight hundred tickets to students, as well as members of the community. Boyce Avenue has more subscribers on Youtube than Beyonce, so this was a pretty exciting night for all of us. Every person on the Dance Marathon Executive and CORE teams worked so hard to help us make this a success and miracles were definitely made as a result.”

DM is an annual 40-hour event, split into two 20-hour shifts, where dancers commit to being on their feet the entire time, “For the Kids.” The event’s proceeds go directly to the local Children’s Miracle Network hospital, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, and the FSU College of Medicine, and provides funds for medical care and research.

“This is our 20th year celebrating Dance Marathon at Florida State, so I know this time around will be even bigger and better!” said Knutson. “What I am looking forward to most, other than meeting our incredible Miracle Families who have been impacted by Dance Marathon, is seeing the number at the end of the forty hours of how much we as a community have fundraised. Last year we raised $781,196.22 for the kids, and we’re hoping to raise even more this year.”

DM began at Florida State in 1996 and since then has raised over $5.3 million.

In addition to the benefit concert, DM has held a benefit auction and multiple campaigns, including a “$40 for 40 days til miracles” and a “Zero to Hero” Holiday campaign. Andrew Gallagher, the Internal Fundraising Assistant for DM, said, “Our team has worked so hard from the moment the last marathon ended to give more of ourselves to the Children’s Miracle Network, Shand’s Hospital in Gainesville, and the FSU Medical School. I cannot wait for that first siren to go off when we teach all the dancers the line dance and the event officially starts. It truly is the spark that ignites the love and the passion in the room that we are standing for the kids that can’t and we are standing to make sure that they believe in miracles, too.”

Later this semester, DM will host their first ever Miracle Rally on Sunday, February 15th at Tully Gymnasium from 11:00am-3:00pm. The event is open to students, faculty, miracle families and the community and will feature food and games to celebrate the kids. Knutson encourages everyone to get involved: “Anyone and everyone can get involved, and they should get involved! Dance Marathon is truly a life changing experience, and anybody can participate! As a participant, you can fundraise, you can register to volunteer, or you can register to become a dancer, all through [our website]. At our involvement fair, we try and get the word out to everyone who is interested that don’t even know how to dance to participate! There is a line dance every hour on the hour that is taught step-by-step, but that only adds to the experience; any way you want to get involved is awesome! Also, our next big event, Miracle Rally, will be such a great kick-off as we get closer to the marathon!”

Collegiettes that are interested in getting involved can still register to be dancers! You can also sign up to volunteer at the event by February 17th, donate to any dancer or the entire event, or for a small fee you can visit the event and witness all the action first-hand. Dance Marathon is February 27-March 1, 2015 at the Leon County Civic Center. All event information, as well as how to get involved or donate, can be found on the DM website.

Jazmyn is an enthusiast of books, thrifting, Netflix, and music. She is a Senior majoring in Editing, Writing, and Media and has a lot of #goals including to be Beyonce'.
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