PENSACOLA, Fla. — Held outdoors for the first time to prioritize the health and safety of the participants, the ninth annual University of West Florida Dance Marathon raised nearly $43,000 on March 20 in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
All proceeds from the UWF event will be donated to Pensacola’s Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart. Studer Family Children’s Hospital is a member of the Children’s Miracle Network, a nonprofit organization that raises funds and awareness for more than 170 pediatric hospitals across North America. Donations are still being accepted until May 1.
“The success of our event was due to the year-long commitment the executive board and myself made to continue to fight for children’s health even during challenging times,” said UWF senior Taylor Kindler, executive director of UWF Dance Marathon.
“The UWF community really came together and supported us throughout the past year.”
Traditionally, Dance Marathon participants stand on their feet and dance for 10 hours in an indoor facility. The executive board improvised this year, dividing 10 teams into four 55-minute shifts and holding the event on the Cannon Green on UWF’s Pensacola Campus.
“Dance Marathon is a fantastic event for a tremendous cause,” said Dr. Benjamin Stubbs, director of Student Engagement.
“I credit our students for adapting and overcoming all of the challenges caused by COVID-19 to host a successful, in-person event. Their ingenuity was on full display.”
The Miracle Network Dance Marathon is held at more than 400 locations across the country and has raised over $300 million since 1991. The mission of the movement is to ensure that no child or family fights pediatric illness or injury alone.
UWF fraternities, sororities and other student organizations raised funds as teams for the event and competed in the “Miracle Ball” to see who could raise the most money and create the most awareness for the event. About 300 students participated in person or through the live stream.
Miracle Ball winners were split into three divisions based on the number of members in the organization:
- Blue and Green Division (less than 30 members): Baptist Collegiate Ministries
- Nautilus Division (30-75 members): Alpha Tau Omega
- Argonaut Division (more than 75 members): Alpha Delta Pi
Dance Marathon capped ArgoFest, a week of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events in which the UWF community celebrated its Argo Spirit. Events included a comedy fest, food fest, and scavenger hunt.
For more information about the UWF Office of Student Engagement, visit www.uwf.edu/engagement. For more information about the Miracle Network Dance Marathon, visit dancemarathon.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org.