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Students Organize Dance Marathon
Fundraiser for a Second Year

Posted February 21, 2001

HOLLAND -- Hope College students have committed themselves to a marathon effort on behalf of local children for a second year in a row.

The students are staging the second annual Dance Marathon, a 24-hour marathon of non-stop dancing organized by Hope students to raise funds for DeVos Children's Hospital through the Children's Miracle Network. The marathon begins on Friday, March 9, at 7 p.m. and will take place in the college's Dow Center.

While the participants in last year's 24-hour marathon were all students, this year's event will also include a group of faculty calling themselves "The Grateful Ed" and members of Hope's Student Development staff. Some 75 students danced last year, and at least as many participants are anticipated for this year's Dance Marathon.

The student organizers have been preparing for the event since the fall semester. Last year, Hope's Dance Marathon raised $23,328, nearly five times more than the amount raised by any other liberal arts school of Hope's size in a school's first year sponsoring one of the events, according to Children's Miracle Network.

The amount raised this year will be announced during a celebration scheduled for the conclusion of the marathon on Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m.

The distinguishing characteristic of Children's Miracle Network is that 100 percent of funds raised locally remains local. Consequently, all of the support raised during Hope's Dance Marathon will support DeVos Children's Hospital.

Although the funding will support the hospital generally and not specific patients, Hope students involved in Dance Marathon have received inspiration for the project through getting to know children who have been or are being helped by the hospital.

The idea of a fundraiser in the form of a dance marathon comes from the popular fad of the 1920s and 1930s. Dancers will have to follow certain guidelines regarding whether they can sit, regimented bathroom breaks and eating meals. The grueling concept of the marathon is balanced by the entertaining activities scheduled to take place throughout the evening: theme hours, live bands, contests and thankful stories from hospitalized children and their families.

The Hope students have arranged a variety of fundraising activities in advance of the marathon itself, including, for example, a February 22 art auction featuring works by children assisted by DeVos Children's Hospital and by a variety of artists.

Dance Marathon is sponsored by the Greek system at Hope, but residence halls, clubs and many other organizations are also involved.

The public is invited to attend the March 9-10 Dance Marathon and there is no admission fee, although donations will be accepted at the door. The Dow Center is located at 13th Street and Columbia Avenue.

Anyone interested in contributing to Dance Marathon may contact the Dance Marathon office at (616) 395- 7472 or write to: Student Activities; 141 E. 12th Street; Holland, MI 49423.

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