The hair cuts, resume design and taxi services offered by Dance Marathon fundraisers paid off.
This weekend, more than 800 students stood for 26.2 hours to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Molly Vazquez, the overall public relations chairwoman, said the event raised a grand total of about $1,528,330 — a more than 30 percent increase from last year’s total of $1,169,722.
“Seeing that number is just absolutely mind-blowing and incredible,” she said. “We put in a full year’s work for it.”
Vazquez, a 21-year-old UF public relations senior, said “every single dollar” goes to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital for research, technology and any diversionary activities — such as videogames and art projects — the kids need.
“Our dream is to make DM the philanthropy of the university,” Vazquez said.
The increase in donations was due in part to this year’s creation of an alumni association, she said, which serves to extend students’ connections to Dance Marathon beyond the four years they spend on campus.
One of these future alumni is Kristen Nguyen, a 23-year-old UF biology senior, who danced for the third time this year.
She stayed on her feet for the 26.2 hours and said her passion for the cause kept her going.
“It’s more of a rewarding experience, and because of that, you don’t feel that tired,” she said.
[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 4/14/2014 under the headline "Dance Marathon raises a record $1.5 million"]
About 800 dancers cheer after standing for 26.2 hours and raising more than $1.5 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Dance Marathon was held in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center from Saturday to Sunday afternoon. Last year’s total was $1,169,722.