Dance Marathon raises $25,060 for kids

#FTK, For the Kids. UW-Platteville annual Fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network gets people moving.


Jacob Thomas photo

Dance Marathon participants dance to the “Macarena”.

The Dance Marathon is a nationwide movement on college campuses and high schools that raises money for the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN). CMN provides care, treatment and equipment to children for no cost to the family. This allows the family to focus on their child instead of the financial burden. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Dance Marathon raised money for the Milwaukee CMN hospital location and started five years ago. Last year, there was $24,000 raised for the hospital. Platteville’s Dance Marathon co-directors were hoping to raise more this year. The committee for UWPlatteville’s Dance Marathon is housed out of resident life, and a majority of the attendees that participate are currently living on campus.

Co-directors of UW-Platteville’s Dance Marathon 2018 are senior agriculture education major Karsen Vance and junior building construction management major Mackenzie Arnold. They are in charge of the executive committee to plan and set up Dance Marathon.

The committee began the process of planning a week after the Dance Marathon for last year ended. It’s a year-long planning process. Meetings are every Sunday with tasks to complete, including reaching out to the community and campus organizations. The largest hurdle for the committee was advertising, as the committee needs to reach out to as many groups as they can and garner their interest in Dance Marathon. The hope was to expand interest to those living in the entire area of Southwest Wisconsin to get involved and come out to Dance Marathon.

On the day of the event, they arrive at 9 a.m. to set up and decorate the space. There were raffle prizes, carnival games, crafts, a ball pit, a photo booth area, a “jail” and a dance area. There are line dances and “Miracle Kiddos” at the beginning of every hour where family stories are shared, some of them being children sharing their treatment stories. Most importantly, there was a “Memory Room” set up close.

There were variations of a “Memory Room” set up at most Dance Marathons nationwide and UW-Platteville’s committee set up the “Memory Room” on the day of the event. They connect with the families who plan on coming to the event and ask them permission to use their photos. The lights were put on dim to set a somber tone as it is a reflective space used as a visual reminder of why they’re at Dance Marathon and who they are helping.

“I want people going away to want to come back and knowing that they helped put an end to pediatric illness and that they’re making a difference in a child’s life,” said Arnold.

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