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Cha-cha for charity: Miami holds fifth annual MUThon

By Allison Gnaegy
On March 14, 2014

Dancing all night is an activity usually reserved for the bars. But this weekend, members of Miami's largest philanthropy will be dancing the night away at Millett Hall for the fifth annual MUThon. The event begins at 6 p.m. and ends the following morning.

Formerly Dance Marathon, MUThon is the largest student-run philanthropy on campus. Students pay to dance for 12 hours to symbolize the struggle of the children and families MUThon supports.

All proceeds from the event go directly to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, which is part of the Children's Miracle Network. The Children's Miracle Network treats children regardless of a family's ability to pay. Passionate volunteers and organization directors live by their motto, "For the Kids."

Junior Rachel Novick, MUThon's Vice President of Development, is in charge of planning fundraisers, accounting and reaching out to regional campuses to make them aware of MUTHon. Like most MUThon participants, Novick has a personal reason for dancing.

"I am pre-med and want to become a pediatrician," Novick said. "So anything that helps children is a great organization for me."

Last year, MUThon raised its personal record of $40,092.39. This year, MUThon has a goal of $50,000, and to reach that goal, the organization is doing a few things differently.

"We went through an entire rebranding of the organization from 'Dance Marathon' to 'MUThon,'" senior MUThon board member Ryan Boes said. "This was a strategic move to create a sustainable brand that is more of our own as a university."

In addition to the traditional dancing, performances and speakers, dancers can expect a new element of competition at this year's event aimed at encouraging fundraising among competing teams. All of the activities for this event have been planned for months in advance, and participants say they do it all, "For the Kids (FTK)!"

"We raise each number in our total one at a time until we get to that seventh digit," junior Tori Fitzmartin, MUThon director of fundraising, said."It's such a great feeling when the crowd erupts and that final number goes up."

Traditionally, the event has taken place at Withrow Courts on North Campus, but this year's MUThon will be taking place more toward the center of campus at the Armstrong Student Center Pavilion.

Students who are not registered for the event can donate at www.mudm.org/support, live stream event on their website and purchase items from the MUThon "Miracle Auction."


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