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

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

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.