USC's Dance Marathon’s 20th Year Breaks Records

In honor of their 20th year on campus, USC’s Dance Marathon's staff set a goal of $1 million for their 2018 main event. This goal shocked many, including staff members. When the numbers came in, Saturday March 3rd went down in the history books, not only for the Dance Marathon staff but also the patients at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. After a year and one exhausting 14-hour-day full of fundraising, USCDM’s final total was $1,025,171. They did it.

“I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to describe how I felt or what I was thinking when I found out [we flipped $1 million]. I was at a complete loss for words, and all I wanted to do was go hug every single person in the gym and thank them for what they had done,” said President Jax Boucher.

Boucher took on the leadership role of USC’s largest student organization about a year ago. Since then, the organization has grown and made history in a number of ways. This is the first $1 million donation from the University of South Carolina and only the second ever to the hospital. Additionally, this was the largest ever donation increase between one year, and the first time in several years that the organization has gone more than $5,000 over their goal. 

Since the first main event in 1999, USC's Dance Marathon has raised over $3.6 million for Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. The money they raise as an organization fully funds the Child Life Program at the hospital which pays for activities that improve the quality of life for patients including playrooms and special ceiling tiles the kids decorate after treatment.

This year, in addition to their record-breaking goal, USCDM announced that every dollar raised over the $525,000 it takes to support the Child Life Program will go towards a playground at the hospital. This playground is set to open in Spring 2019 and will accommodate IV poles, wheelchairs and hospital beds for all children to enjoy.

“Parents will have hope, kids will be healthier and our hospital will continue to grow,” said Boucher.

Although the fundraising year has just ended for USCDM, the staff is already looking forward to next year and the radical changes they plan to make “for the kids”. #ftk

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