After 36 hours of dancing, IU Dance Marathon revealed they raised $3,090,215.23 for Riley Hospital for Children Sunday morning at the IU Tennis Center. The total is an increase of over $185,000 from last year.
Before the total was revealed, IUDM’s executive council handed out multiple awards, including the dedicated Ryan White and Ashley Louise Crouse awards that are given out to individuals that exemplify the spirit of IUDM. White was a teenager from Kokomo who contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion. He died in 1990, and IUDM was established to honor his legacy. Crouse was a member of IUDM’s executive council who was killed in a car accident in 2005.
The dancers shouted when they saw themselves on the large screen above the stage as they watched two videos from the weekend. They danced and sang along while the morale committee performed a 12-minute line dance.
Near the closing of the marathon, dancers gathered in a large circle with their arms around each other, listening to the song “Angels Among Us” play over the speakers. Many began crying.
“I should have brought a Kleenex,” a dancer whispered to her friend.
After a year of worrying about the total amount of money raised, IUDM President Catherine McGibbon said she is confident everyone at the marathon did as much as they could to help every child who walks through the door of Riley.
“A lot of people will define the success of a dance marathon by the number that gets raised at the end of the year, but we know that the true definition of our success comes from our effort, our perseverance, and doing what we know we can do to help the kids at Riley,” McGibbon said.
McGibbon said she was worried fewer people would show up when IUDM was moved to Halloween weekend or that people might not be willing to donate with the pandemic economy. Despite these fears, IUDM met and surpassed her goals for this year.
“The goal is to raise awareness and money for Riley Hospital so they can keep helping kids and making miracles happen for children,” IU sophomore and IUDM dancer Abbie Skadron said.
Keith Dayton, IUDM faculty adviser and IU professor, spoke about his experience as a child at Riley and sang the IU fight song with the dancers in the last few hours of the marathon. He said he is grateful for IUDM and all the work that went into helping the children at Riley.
“This is the gem of IU,” Dayton said.