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Our Story

dance marathon group shotHistory of Dance Marathon at Hope

The first annual Dance Marathon at Hope College was in 2000. In the inaugural year, a school of Hope’s size was expected to raise only $4,800. But, as a result of hard work and dedication, the Marathon brought in over $23,000 in donations for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. In the years that followed, the program has evolved to include numerous fundraising and awareness-building activities like the Annual 5k for the Kids, the Miracle Silent Auction and the Christmas holiday party for Miracle Families. Student participation in the event has grown over the years, too. Currently, more than 1,000 Hope students contribute to Dance Marathon as dancers, moralers and committee members.

Children's Miracle Network

Children’s Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping children by raising funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals throughout North America. Each year, these non-profit hospitals treat 17 million children with diseases, injuries and birth defects of every kind. Children’s Miracle Network hospitals treat all children regardless of affliction or the family’s ability to pay.

Helen Devos Children's Hospital

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, a Children’s Miracle Network hospital, is the only hospital in Western Michigan dedicated to providing comprehensive care to children. It serves as a referral center for newborns, infants, children and adolescents from 37 counties. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital provides medical care that is generally not available at community hospitals. It is a special resource for local health care centers and hometown physicians. It receives no direct state aid and depends upon private support to expand health care programs and services. Several essential programs at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital rely on philanthropy to remain available for the children and families. Some of these programs include:

  • Center for Child Protection
  • Congenital Heart Center
  • Child Life Services
  • Kidney Dialysis and Transplants
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Neonatal Intensive Care

With the money Dance Marathon raises throughout the year, we help provide necessities to the children, families, doctors and nurses at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. Here are some examples of where our donations go:

  • $10 provides a gas card for families to travel across the state or country to treat their child
  • $25 provides craft supplies to distract a child undergoing scary and painful treatments
  • $50 pays for a night’s stay for distant families staying at the Hospital’s Renucci House
  • $200 pays for a child’s cast for a broken arm
  • $500 buys a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff to make sure the kids are staying healthy
  • $750 pays for the anesthesia a child needs for one of his or her surgeries
  • $1,000 pays for a vial of Erbitux, a drug used in chemotherapy for a child’s head, neck and colorectal cancer
  • $1,500 provides half of a day at the hospital for routine surgery and about a third of the cost for a day in the NICU
  • $2,000 provides a NICU crib for tired and weak, one-pound babies fighting to survive