You Can Dance If You Want To
Perhaps you have seen the Facebook or Instagram posts from your student or friends’ kids that say #FTK or #ForTheKids. Maybe you’ve noticed fundraising pages for an event called Dance Marathon. You might even have seen the word marathon and quickly averted your eyes to anything that might resemble having to run more miles than you walk in a week. Fear not! They are all referring to the same amazing event, and this is one marathon you’ll definitely want to join. Whether you have a student at UF or just have an affinity for the Orange and Blue, you will definitely want to share in this event, donate to this event, and encourage any UF student you know to get involved in this event. This is college philanthropy at its best. Created to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 1991, the Marathons are held at college campuses across the country to raise funds and awareness for more than 170 pediatric hospitals across North America.
Dance The Night Away
Dance Marathon, also known in Gainesville as DMUF, will begin on Saturday, March 28th, and end on March 29, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. The number of participants, which includes Dancers, Staff, Ambassadors, Captains, and Assistant and Overall Directors numbers 5,394 students. 800 Dancers will spend 26.2 hours (thus the nomenclature marathon) on their feet. The dancers will line dance, enjoy live entertainment, and meet some of the families that benefit from the funds raised. As preparation and prelude, staff and captains run various fundraising events throughout the year, all culminating in the dance marathon. 100% of these UF-raised funds stay local to support local kids. At the University of Florida, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital is the participating Children’s Miracle Network hospital.
The Last Dance
Last year’s Marathon raised $3,026,420.19. These dollars fund everything from the patient and family care to equipment and hospital improvements to research and education right here in Gainesville. There are many opportunities for students to get involved in this marathon Marathon effort (yes, I went there!), starting when they first step foot on campus. It’s almost a Gator rite of passage. For example, over 100 Student Organizations at UF work year-round to support the Marathon’s cause. Both of my daughters have been involved with Dance Marathon in active roles as dancer, staff, and captain.
They have also both had the sweet honor of touring the pediatric wing at Shands and meeting some of the pediatric recipients of the fundraising efforts, along with their families. You can meet some of the Miracle Kids and have your heartstrings tugged into the good work of the Marathon, too. Once my daughters met the heart and soul of their philanthropic efforts, they walked away feeling like the daily stress they carried due to classes, exams, and other daily annoyances were frivolous in comparison to the issues that the patients and families of patients at Shands experience daily. From my perspective, I could not have been more proud of their participation and how this event gave them a clear-eyed view of how blessed they truly are.
So spread the word, and join in the giving that is #FTK. We promise you don’t even have to spend any of the 26.2 hours on the dance floor to claim your share in this year’s Dance Marathon. For more information or to donate to DMUF. Pass on these great tips, tell your friends and like us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find out more about how to use HaveUHeard as a great resource. Sign up for other great tips at haveuheard.com.