Giselle Cancio/Staff Writer
Seventeen hours of inspiration, hope, memories and miracles in continuous efforts to help a child’s dream come true will be happening at FIU on April 5-6.
Dance Marathon, a tradition at schools across the nation, raises awareness and funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, which in turn directly benefit the children who are ill.
“In the spirit of dancing hearts for little feet,” as the mission statement says, Dance Marathon is now a 17 hour event in where participants stay on their feet pledging their dedication to stand for those who can’t and saving the lives of the children.
The change of hours from 25 to 17 comes with reason.
“Our committee decided it was time for a change in order to keep up the continuing success of the marathon,” said Issy Huingo, 2014 Executive Director studying engineering. “17 years, 17 hours, hopefully more students are willing to participate as we wanted to make it convenient for our students while continuing to fundraise for CMNH.”
Founded in 1997, Dance Marathon has raised over $700,000 while at FIU.
Over the duration of the marathon, there will be several entertainment activities such as laser tag, bounce houses, the learning of the new line dance and more importantly, the stories of miracle children as they visit over the course of the two days.
The miracle children come with their families to share their success stories with everyone present. Organizations adopt the miracle children and shower them with love and gifts for them to always remember how important they are.
This year’s theme is Monsters Inc.
“Every year, the committee comes together to decide on a theme that will be incorporated into all of our special events and of course, the marathon,” Huingo said. “We try to paint as many characters from the movie as possible so we can fill the walls at the recreation center where the marathon is held.”
The planning of the DM started in the summer of 2013 and continues until the day of. Every hour there is a different activity in order to motivate the dancers to stay on their feet and the visitors who are constantly in and out of the rec center.
The week prior to the marathon, March 31-April 3, there will be a “Dance Marathon Week” that will include a kickoff event, pie a morale captain, themed social media activities and the chance to purchase incentives for the dancers.
The marathon will start promptly at 6 p.m. and the committee hopes it’s one for the books.
Faculty and staff are invited to come from 7-8 p.m. and there is an alumni hour in the works, which will be announced at a later time.
“Our fundraising goal is $85,000 because we want to raise 15 percent more than last year,” Huingo said.
Tips for the dancers?
“During these 17 hours, don’t think about the fact that you’re on your feet, think about the difference that you are making that will last a lifetime for these children,” Huingo said. “It’s a party where we celebrate the children who are not giving up.”