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Dance Marathon gears up for ?nal event

Dance Marathon committees collaborate to start setting up Thursday night before the event begins on Friday
Dance Marathon committees collaborate to start setting up Thursday night before the event begins on Friday

For UNC’s Dance Marathon staff, the days preceding Friday’s 24-hour storm of dancing, cheering and standing have been anything but calm.

The event, which will see more than 2,000 fundraising participants stand for 24 hours to raise money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital, requires extensive preparation, organizers said.

“The preparation is crazy,” said Brittany Smith, a member of Dance Marathon’s publicity committee. “All the committee members will be in the gym at some point tonight setting up — it’s a huge effort.”

The day-long event will feature live music along with videos produced by the Dance Marathon staff.

More than 300 Dance Marathon committee members spent Thursday night putting up about 600 banners in Fetzer Gym.

Along with posters, the gym will be fitted with a stage and sound equipment by Carolina Union production services.

Olivia Barrow, Dance Marathon’s publicity chairwoman, said the marathon charity event — which will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday — is the culmination of months of planning and fundraising.

“As a group, we have been working out all the detailed logistics of moving thousands of people around,” she said. “It’ll be a really awesome celebration of all the work that we’ve done all year long.”

Organizers said expectations are high for the event with a record number of dancers signed up. About 270 volunteers will also help run the marathon.

“We usually have about 1,500 dancers, and this year we have over 2,000,” Smith said.

“I think that’s definitely going to increase the amount of money we get to send over to the children’s hospital.”

Dance Marathon takes the event’s set-up costs out of the money that it raises for the children’s hospital, Barrow said, although this year the cost has been eased by private donations.

“The posters were all donated by committee members, and this year the duct tape was donated, which was amazing,” she said. “We have been blessed and have had a lot of things donated that we usually don’t get.”

Committee members expressed optimism that this year’s event might beat last year’s record $436,709.61 raised.

But Gracie Beard, overall coordinator for Dance Marathon, said the organization set no fundraising target, preferring to focus on the impact it has at the hospital.

“Although we do our best to raise as much money as possible, we don’t really set a goal because we focus on what is going on in the hospital,” she said.

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