IUDM breaks $2M
Event breaks fundraising record 'for the kids'
They did it, and it was all for the kids.
Overcome with emotion, IU Dance Marathon participants celebrated as the grand total was revealed at about 8 a.m. Sunday. They raised $2,125,322.20, the largest total in the history of IUDM.
This was the first time IUDM raised more than $2 million, and the event had an 18 percent increase from last year’s $1,801,207.20.
At first, the committee purposely announced the total as $1,982,322.20 to see a reaction from participants for barely missing the $2 million goal.
Then, they changed it to the correct total of $2,125,322.20.
The top fundraising group was Phi Gamma Delta.
“I was shocked to see how far over $2 million we raised,” IUDM Vice President of Public Relations Joe Primavera said. “We went above and beyond this year.”
Primavera said about 3,000 students participated in this year’s IUDM. About 400 danced the full 36 hours, while others chose to dance during 17-hour shifts.
“The biggest part of the year was the growth,” Primavera said. “We had a lot of dancers, a lot more committed dancers.”
Primavera said participants experienced a wide range of emotions.
“The range of involvement was so wide,” Primavera said. “The emotions are high because a lot of people put in different amounts of time, which contributes to how people are reacting.”
Ben Cohen, dance marathon coordinator for Riley Children’s Foundation, said each Riley kid had his or her own “buddy” for the weekend.
“There’s an entire committee called ‘Riley Development,’” Cohen said. “Their sole job is to interact with children.”
Cohen said there are kids who look forward to IUDM as a separate holiday.
Brent and Heather Dawes of Avon, Ind., said they know this all too well.
Heather Dawes, the former liaison between IUDM and the Riley Hospital for Children, has been involved with both organizations for many years.
Brent and Heather Dawes have three children, 9-year-old Jacob, 5-year-old Jeremy and 3-year-old Guillianna, who have all been treated at Riley Hospital at some point in their lives.
Heather was hospitalized at Riley Hospital as an infant.
Heather said Jacob, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and Asperger’s syndrome, especially loves IUDM.
“Jacob looks forward to dance marathon 10 months out of the year,” Heather said.
IUDM is the second largest college philanthropy in the United States behind Pennsylvania State University’s “Thon.”
IUDM is the largest dance marathon of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Members from the BuckeyeThon at Ohio State University as well as the Ball State University Dance Marathon joined in supporting their fellow Network marathon.
“We’re all for the kids,” said Maggie Hamilton, a Ball State Dance Marathon committee member.
Cohen said all of the funds raised go to the Ryan White Infectious Disease Center at Riley Hospital.
In 2011, IUDM started the second $10 million pledge, which will go toward infectious disease research, Cohen said.
The previous $10 million pledge, which consisted of the money raised by IUDM before 2011, went toward clinical research, Cohen said.
Cohen said he believes IUDM has experienced a significant growth in multiple aspects this year.
“IUDM is an incredibly storied program, and this year’s event has grown in all aspects: dancer, committee and community participation,” he said.
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