The University of California, Santa Barbara will soon host its first ever Dance Marathon–a nationwide movement involving more than 150 schools that raises money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, which treat over 17 million patients each year.
The event will be held at UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion between 2 p.m. on March 1 through midnight on March 2. The event has already exceeded the funding goal set by organizers; as of Feb. 19, UCSB has raised $6,232. Hannah Mills, third-year biology major and Family Relations Chair for the Dance Marathon, anticipates that as the event draws nearer, even more money will be raised.
“Most people haven’t started fundraising yet,” said Mills. “The donation cutoff is the day of the event, so a lot of donations happen between now and the event.”
In order to attend the Dance Marathon, participants must raise a certain amount of money through fundraising and sponsorships. As of Feb. 19, there are 128 participants registered to dance at the event; Mills believes that even more students will sign up as the deadline draws to a close. Participants can register as a team or as an individual. Some organizations that will be represented at the event include Greek life, Health and Wellness, and on-campus dance groups such as Iaorana Te Otea.
To celebrate the funds raised, participants come together to dance and do activities for a full 12 hours. There will be food, live music, and UCSB performance groups at the event.
One of the live performances is the local Isla Vista band The Jaywalkers. Contacted by one of the organizers of the event, the band looks forward to playing.
“It sounded like a great opportunity to play an awesome show and to give back to a tremendous cause,” said bass guitarist Jordan Wolff, a fourth-year English major.
On Feb. 13, Dance Marathon at UCSB received a financial award at the Campus Philanthropy Awards Dinner hosted by UCSB First.
“We’re really excited that we won, “ said Mills. “It’s a recognition of all the hard work that we put in to starting a new philanthropy on campus.” The event planners intend to use the money to help put on a great event for participants.
Mills explained that the UCSB Dance Marathon has been years in the making.
“It’s been a two year process of trying to get members and gaining support from people and from the hospital,” said Mills.
Dance Marathon at UCSB is currently working in partnership with Cottage Children’s Hospital in Santa Barbara. According to the Santa Barbara Dance Marathon website, Cottage Children’s Hospital in Santa Barbara houses the largest pediatric ICU center from just south of the Bay Area until Los Angeles and also provides countless services to the greater community of Santa Barbara.
Dance Marathon at UCSB will provide year-round support to Miracle Children, children who are receiving or have received medical care from Cottage Children’s Hospital. These Miracle Children are supported through donations and through several fundraising events throughout the year.
“I think that this year’s Dance Marathon is going to start a tradition that will grow every year,” said Mills.
For more information about donation and participation, please visit http://www.dancemarathonucsb.com/.