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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

"Jailed" students fundraise for bail to donate to Dance Marathon

<p>Students from Dance Marathon set up a jail on Turlington Plaza on Wednesday afternoon. Members had a “bail” set, and pedestrians could pay for their release. In return, the dancers would perform. All proceeds were donated to Dance Marathon and Children’s Miracle Network.</p>

Students from Dance Marathon set up a jail on Turlington Plaza on Wednesday afternoon. Members had a “bail” set, and pedestrians could pay for their release. In return, the dancers would perform. All proceeds were donated to Dance Marathon and Children’s Miracle Network.

Students passing through Turlington Plaza on Wednesday might have been alarmed to see begging students inside a giant cage, but don’t worry — it was for the kids.

Jamie Heekin, a 21-year-old UF food sciences and human nutrition senior and overall director for Dance Marathon, said the stunt was a “jailbreak” fundraising event, the first of its kind held on Turlington. Normally, she said, the event takes place outside the Stephen C. O’Connell center during Dance Marathon.

The plastic prison was stuffed with both Dance Marathon affiliated students who signed up for shifts and random students who just wanted to help, Heekin said.

“Some people just came up and said, ‘What are you guys doing? Can I hop in jail?’” she said.

Students inside the 10-foot-tall cage set their own “bail” and had to beg passers-by for money in order to be released, Heekin said. Bail was set anywhere from $5 to $100, and proceeds went to individual Dance Marathon pages.

Seth Fisher, an 18-year-old UF accounting freshman, handed over $2, much to the delight of a cheering inmate.

“I know what it’s like to raise money,” he said, “so I just wanted to reach out and help somebody.”

A version of this story ran on page 3 on 11/14/2013 under the headline "Gators jailed for Dance Marathon"

Students from Dance Marathon set up a jail on Turlington Plaza on Wednesday afternoon. Members had a “bail” set, and pedestrians could pay for their release. In return, the dancers would perform. All proceeds were donated to Dance Marathon and Children’s Miracle Network.

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