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UF Dance Marathon staff members hold signs revealing the total amount of money fundraised this year, totaling $3,026,420.19 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

 

When the white “3” sign was lifted, more than 800 people cheered and put their arms up in an “O” to look like the Dance Marathon’s hot air balloon logo Sunday. A new record had been set.

After 26.2 hours of dancing and standing at the O’Connell Center, UF Dance Marathon organizers held up white signs to reveal the organization had raised $3,026,420.19 for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a nonprofit that raises money for children hospitals.

In 2017, the yearlong effort raised $2.7 million, said Ashleigh Braun, a 22-year-old captain on the Dance Marathon public relations team.

“I think every year we just continue to evolve and grow and just trying to build off of the previous year,” the UF journalism senior said.

Lindsey Breneman, a UF journalism sophomore, said her feet were swollen from standing and dancing all weekend, but the miracle families inspired her to continue.

“We worked our butts off all year long,” the 20-year-old said.

UF President Kent Fuchs was also at the event Sunday to receive the Community Person of the Year award. He was recognized after he donated $10,000.

Emily Boulter, a Dance Marathon spokesperson, said this was the first time Fuchs had donated.

“We are so supportive of all the help he has given our cause,” the 21-year-old UF health education and behavior senior said.