at the University of Florida
As a chapter, we have developed a strong passion for Dance Marathon. Dance Marathon at the University of Florida is a year-long effort raising funds and awareness for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, or more specifically, benefiting UF Health Shands Children's Hospital in our very own backyard.
DM at UF is one of the first five founding Dance Marathon programs in the nation. Since its founding in 1995, UF students have raised more than $12.4 million dollars For The Kids (FTK), putting it the second largest DM in the nation and the most successful student-run philanthropy in the southeastern United States. This year-long effort involves community, hospitality, and marketing events at businesses in Gainesville and the surrounding area. The event culminates in a main event each spring during which more than 800 UF students remain on their feet for 26.2 hours without rest or sleep, representing the hardships faced each and everyday by children battling life-threatening illnesses, hence "standing for those who can't".
All of the funds raised through DM at UF go directly to purchase state-of-the-art medical equipment, enhancements to make the children’s stay at the hospital more enjoyable, and funding for research grants and educational programs. This imperative research helps doctors find solutions for incurable diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis and cancer.
As a chapter, our passion for this cause only continues to grow from each year to the next. Dance Marathon has proved to not just be an event each spring, but rather a contagious atmosphere and a family that is unexplainable. Dance Marathon offers an opportunity to be involved in a cause so much bigger than one individual, through which thousands of students of all backgrounds come together to help provide a better future for the many children and families that call UF Health Shands Children's Hospital home.
Our hearts are so full knowing the difference that will be made for these deserving children and their families. It's truly great to be a Florida Gator! We can't wait to see the life-changing experiences that DM 2021 will bring!