UWF’s 3rd Annual Dance Marathon deemed success

By  Jamel Jackson
Staff writer

The University of West Florida hosted their 3rd Miracle Network Dance Marathon March 3 to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

The target goal of $55,000 was surpassed and the total earrings total was $60,890.59 at the end of the marathon.

At the yearly event, everyone is up and dancing or playing games, and no one is allowed to sit. The purpose of not having people sitting is because they are standing for those who can’t.

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Dance Marathon is a national event, which first started in 1991 at Indiana University because of a student named Ryan White who died of AIDS. This event then began to spread like wildfire. Now, Dance Marathon is happening in almost every state. 

All the money raised goes to the Children’s Miracle Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping raise funds. All proceeds from Saturday’s event will benefit the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola by providing emotional and financial support. The donations help build the hospital, buy equipment or anything else needed for the hospital to run smoothly and be able to help the children.

Dance Marathon incorporated something new this year by allowing families to participate and to speak about their stories and what the hospital means to them. Beau Vignes, whose son benefited from the Studer Family Children’s Hospital, and his family attended the event. 

“My son was in the NICU for almost a month he went in in a critical situation a really scary situation for us,” Vignes said. “The NICU helped us out just comforting us if nothing else. So, what you guys are doing here today, supporting NICU and supporting a family like mine, we can’t say thank you enough. It left us with a gratitude for students who participate in events like this and other families who struggle in situations like this.”

Chloe, Ripley and Beau Vignes. (Photo by Jamel Jackson)

Students laughed, smiled and danced with passion Saturday evening. The level of energy students created was contiguous in the UWF Commons Convention Center. During Dance Marathon, everyone showed their support for the children assisted by Children’s Miracle Network by staying on our feet for hours.

UWF student Simon Smiley expressed how much he enjoyed himself by attending.  

“What we’re doing for the kids is a really good cause and everybody has a great time doing it and they know they’re doing something for more than just themselves,”Smiley said.

This year, more non-Greek students and teams realized that they could participate, which helped bring a diversity of student organizations to the event. 

Contact dancemarathon@uwf.edu for more information.  

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