By Hannah Fierle, For The Miami Student
From noon to midnight on Saturday, the Miami University Dance Marathon will take place in the Armstrong Student Center pavilion. The proceeds raised during the event will go to Cincinnati Children's Hospital, a Children's Miracle Network Hospital.
During the event, participants dance to music, play games and activities, watch performances of campus singers and dancers, and hear stories from children and families the event supports.
"Dance Marathon means so much to me because I know that all the hard work we put in throughout the year is going to help a family in our community," said Madalyn Wimmer, president of Dance Marathon. "I love knowing that I am doing something beneficial for my community and that we are having an impact on families in our area."
For Wimmer, this year's Dance Marathon is her last, as she is a senior.
While Dance Marathon is hugely popular at universities all over the nation, it has seen much success in its growing presence at Miami.
"Dance Marathon is huge at schools around the country and while Miami's is just starting out, it has the ability to grow and raise millions of dollars like the others," said Annie Forchetti, vice president of logistics for Dance Marathon.
Dance Marathon is a cause close to Forchetti's heart, as her family spent much time at the Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, another Children's Miracle Network Hospital, while her brother was being treated for idopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) from a young age.
In just the three years Forchetti has been involved, the event has already demonstrated considerable growth. Last year's fundraising total amounted to $38,213.64. The fundraising goal for this year is $40 thousand.
Additionally, participation has also grown each year, with an expected 500 dancers this year.
Vice president of involvement, Rachel Morgan, has been involved with Dance Marathon for over six years, having graduated from Carmel High School, home of the largest high school Dance Marathon in the country.
"I dance because of the kids at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. It's something so simple and fun and such a selfless way to give your Saturday," said Morgan.
Dance Marathon's motto is just that - "For the Kids."
"It's not about the number we raise, it's the impact we have on these kids. The miracle families are so grateful of the effort we put in," said Morgan.
Dance Marathon is a special event in that participants are able to see their efforts pay off firsthand, as many children the fundraiser supports attend.
At the organizational meeting all participants are required to attend, a mother and her young son from Cincinnati Children's Hospital came to speak about the importance of Dance Marathon to their family. The child then requested to dance with the students, so they immediately cleared out a dance floor and formed a circle around him.
"We are dancing for these kids who can't and the lives they are not able to lead that we hope they may one day because of our support and their strength," said Morgan.