Dance Marathon is an organization that raises money for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital is in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital located in Iowa City, Iowa. Loras College has been participating in the Dance Marathon movement fighting childhood illness for 14 years. Loras College Dance Marathon 14 lasted 12 hours on Saturday, April 27, when students danced from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. A total of $200,331.49 was raised which will go to patient and family-centered services at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Over the last 14 years, the event has been able to raise over two-million dollars for the kids at the hospital.
The care provided at the children’s hospital would not be possible without the help of Dance Marathon. The money raised makes a huge impact on the families. Senior co-president Paige Bildstein said,
“The past year has been a very enriching experience to be able to watch a team of Duhawks come together to raise awareness for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. This year, we had set the goal to be able to create 2 million miracles collectively in Loras College Dance Marathon’s 14 years. It was through our commitment to the kids that we were able to make that milestone happen for Loras College Dance Marathon. Being able to celebrate all of our hard work with the people who matter most- our miracle kiddos and their families – was a great end to my four years being involved in Dance Marathon.”
Co-president, senior Brook Boddicker stated,
“There is nothing that we, as college students, can do to worsen the lives of parents who have been told their child will experience terminal illness and everything that comes along with it. We’ve been told time and time again that alone is the worst pain a parent can feel. There are things we can do to make their lives better, though. On Saturday, we set out to enhance these miracle families’ lives by fundraising for them, listening to their stories, and spending a day of fun outside the hospital with them. It’s important for kids to experience happy and healthy childhoods, and even if these kiddos aren’t always healthy, that doesn’t mean we can’t give them the happiness they deserve. Seeing how happy the kids were over the 12 hours we were dancing is an indescribable joy. Seeing a group of college students care so deeply about their happiness was just as heartwarming. I hope each dancer, and the dancers before them, take pride in the difference they have made. Loras College Dance Marathon has made over $2 million worth of miracles for the children’s hospital in Iowa City, and that has completely changed lives. It’s scary to think that 62 children enter a CMN hospital every minute, but it’s reassuring knowing others want to make this entrance as comfortable as possible.”
First-year Lauren Krapfl said, “Lights, camera, action, we made so many miracles happen. Thanks to so many wonderful people my first ever Loras College Dance Marathon was a success, and I could not be more proud. We did not let the snow slow us down as we stood on our feet for 12 hours in honor of the children at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. These children have been put through some unimaginable events in their lives and they are an inspiration for all of us. I loved getting to spend the day with some great Loras students, community members, and miracle families as we all gathered for the same cause. Together we laughed, cried, and ‘Set the Scene’ all while making 200,331.49 miracles happen.”
Rebecca Nonnenmann, a first-year in the organization, said, “Dance Marathon 14 from beginning to end was absolutely life-changing. It’s just amazing how the Loras community came together to make 200,331.49 miracles happen all for the kids. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the miracle kiddos and their families made standing on our feet for 12 hours’ worth it. Hearing the stories of the scary stuff these kids have gone through, along with the passion that many people have for DM is absolutely inspiring and it is something I carry with me every day.”
Being in the high honor of raising the largest sum of money donated per capita, Loras students continue to play a large role in helping those who are in need. This event attracts many people of different walks of life and brings them together for a common cause, collecting more and more support each year. For those who wish to get involved with this organization, keep a look out for Dance Marathon next year for its 15th run.