You Can Dance If You Want To
When my kids were in high school, they each did some sort of volunteer work; all noble and worthy. Then they got to college and their involvement in philanthropy expanded tremendously and brought them each an amazing source of altruism and a whole lot of fun. Some of it was through Greek life, but at UCF the largest student-run philanthropy is Knight-Thon; the University of Central Florida’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon and it is for everyone.
Dance The Night Away
Knight-Thon is a 20-hour dance marathon and year-long fundraising effort directly benefiting the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. There are many opportunities for students to get involved starting when they first step foot on campus and not just as a dancer. Some sororities encourage involvement, but once students see the impact they make on the children and families lives, they will be counting down the days until next year. My son never danced, but he and some of his fraternity buddies participated yearly in other ways. There are many ways to participate without dancing. Students create teams to raise money year-round through fundraising events and personal appeals; the culmination being the Dance Marathon which takes place this year on April 7th, 2018 in the CFE Arena. The events from fall through spring, educate, inspire, and unite UCF’s campus and community.
The Last Dance
To inspire students to remain standing on the dance floor, some of the Miracle Children are welcomed onstage alongside their families, and bravely share their stories of diagnosis, defeat, and hope. This is about when our kids get hooked and why they do it year after year. Of course, the weekend is packed with fun too; bounce houses, hypnotists, food, free merchandise, and entertainment.
Each year a theme and monetary goals are announced at the beginning of the fall semester. This year the theme is “Write Your Own Legacy” and there is literally no financial goal set with the idea that the campus and community have such tremendous potential that a number is not needed. In the past, students have raised more than $1,250,000 in a year.
From my perspective, I could not have been more proud of their participation and that this event truly puts into perspective how blessed they truly are.
For more information or to donate, go to https://osi.ucf.edu/knight-thon/.
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