This year, more dancers than ever before stood for 24 hours in Fetzer Gym — for the kids.
Dance Marathon raised almost $50,000 more than last year, ending Saturday night with $483,210.36 for the N.C. Children’s Hospital.
In previous years, the number of participants had been capped at 1,600 people, said Gracie Beard, overall coordinator.
But this year, the group removed the cap and about 2,000 people signed up, she said.
Beard attributed this increase to a new recruiting focus on the group’s yearlong volunteer efforts with the hospital, rather than just the single weekend-long event.
“We tried to be less loud and in your face and actually get people talking,” she said.
Olivia Barrow, publicity chairwoman, said the biggest challenge of adding more dancers was feeding them, but increased community outreach encouraged more businesses to donate food.
Barrow added that almost every fundraising event raised more money than it did last year.
“That’s the real impact, is knowing that we’ve touched lives. And the added money, this gives us the ability the touch more lives,” she said.
Senior Hannah Sacco, co-coordinator of the morale and recruitment committee, said she had never seen the gym so full.
“When you’re involved with Dance Marathon, you personally can’t compare them to each other because you see how much work and effort goes behind each one,” she said.
Sacco, who has participated in Dance Marathon for her entire college career, said interacting with the families was one of the most rewarding parts.
“It’s really bittersweet because it’s over, and I can’t look forward to the next one,” she said.
Mary Peeler, a member of the outreach committee, said seeing the gym so full helped make the event more exciting.
“It was a really cool and physical way that the marathon came to life,” she said.
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