1,600 UNC Students Take a Stand for N.C. Children's Hospital

While most of North Carolina is sleeping, 1,600 UNC-Chapel Hill students will take a symbolic stand on their feet for the patients and families of N.C. Children's Hospital. For 24 hours, beginning 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, UNC-CH students will dance, stand and celebrate the success of North Carolina’s largest student-run fundraiser “for the kids.”

1,600 UNC Students Take a Stand for N.C. Children's Hospital click to enlarge UNC Dance Marathon

The UNC Dance Marathon celebrates the culmination of the student participants' year-long fundraising efforts in support of the patients and families of N.C. Children's Hospital. The 24-hour marathon, this year featuring a “World Tour” theme, will include student dancers and volunteers reveling in around-the-clock entertainment from campus and community performance groups, guest speakers, varsity athletes, and current and former patients and families of the hospital.

The 13th annual event, held in UNC-CH’s Fetzer Gym, will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18 with a kick-off by up-and-coming performer, Jake Troth. The festivities will end the following day, Saturday, Feb. 19, with “family hour,” an opportunity for dancers and volunteers to hear personal stories from hospital families and staff at 6:15 p.m. and the grand total fundraising reveal at 7:25 p.m.

This year, 19 “Kid Co-captains” will join the dancers in their celebrations. Kid Co-captains are children who have a connection to N.C. Children’s Hospital. Some have been affected by UNC Dance Marathon funds, while others have been touched by the hospital. The Kid Co-captains will be introduced at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.The UNC Dance Marathon is the University's largest student-led fundraiser. The event has demonstrated tremendous and consistent growth since its inaugural year in 1998 and boasts a 12-year fundraising total of more than $2.4 million. The 2010UNC Dance Marathon was the most successful to date, raising nearly $422,000. Numbers like these give participants at the 24-hour marathon much cause for celebration, of course, but these fundraising totals are a result of students' year-round, rather than day-of, efforts.

More than 300 students serving on 13 different committees (each responsible for different aspects of the marathon’s operations) promote the marathon and its cause at various fundraising events throughout the year. This year alone, committee members organized the fourth annual UNC Dance Marathon Homecoming Golf Classic, Trick-or-Treat for Kids Who Can’t, one beach music benefit concert, the eighth annual Benefit Reception at the Franklin Hotel, and many other exciting events. They also worked tirelessly at money-collection drives at UNC football and basketball games and secured individual donations from UNC students in classrooms throughout campus.

This year's marathon dancers will be divided into 24 teams, each led by a captain from the Morale committee. Teams will compete together in a variety of events centered on this year’s “World Tour” theme. Dancers will be joined by hundreds of other student volunteers and campus and community members. Donations are encouraged throughout the event and can be made in-person at Fetzer Gym or online via the UNC Dance Marathon’s official website at www.uncmarathon.org.
The website will also offer a 24-hour online Web cast of the event.

The media are invited to cover this unique event.


Some notable events from the marathon are as follows:

7:20 p.m.        Overall Coordinator Sarah Beth Wilkison speaks

7:25 p.m.        The Ayotte family, a Kid Co-captain family, speaks

7:30 p.m.        Dancers stand up, kickoff speaker speaks

8:00 p.m.        Morale committee teaches the line dance to dancers

8:30 p.m.        “Amazing Race” competition begins with a first activity

9:00 p.m.        Singer Jake Troth performs

6:30 a.m.        Dancers watch the sunrise in Kenan Stadium

11:30 a.m.       Outdoor field trip and alumni hour

5:00 p.m.        “Vermonster” ice cream eating competition

5:30 p.m.        Introduce the Kid Co-captains

6:15 p.m.         Patient and family hour; dancer/patient/family meet-and-greet

7:10 p.m.         Multimedia pieces covering year-long fundraising efforts

7:25 p.m.        Total amount raised revealed

7:30 p.m.        Last line dance; dancers sit down

The public is also encouraged to attend and lend their support throughout the 24-hour celebration. For more information about the 2010 UNC Dance Marathon, please visit www.uncmarathon.org.



North Carolina Children's Hospital protects the health and well-being of North Carolina's 2.1 million children by aligning premier health care practitioners, world-class medical education, and innovative, interdisciplinary research to provide the highest-quality, family-centered care, regardless of a family's ability to pay. As a major referral center for children with complex and chronic conditions, N.C. Children's Hospital works hand-in-hand with community hospitals and pediatricians across the state, providing specialty care to more than 70,000 children from all 100 counties each year.

N.C. Children's Hospital offers complete pediatric inpatient and outpatient care in its 140-bed state-of-the-art facility at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and at more than 25 satellite outpatient clinics throughout North Carolina. The Children's Hospital's world-class physicians, nurses and other clinical staff represent all pediatric subspecialties and are capable of treating children with virtually any disease or disorder. For more information, please visit www.ncchildrenshospital.org.

What is UNC-DM?:

In the simplest terms, The UNC Dance Marathon is a student-run nonprofit organization at UNC-Chapel Hill. It is the largest student-run fundraiser on campus and works year-round to raise money to benefit the patients and families of N.C. Children’s Hospital through several ongoing and divisional grants. Its fundraising efforts culminate in a 24-hour celebration where hundreds of UNC-CH students show their support for the patients and families by standing on their feet for the entire event. Last year, UNC-DM raised $421,851.32, funding two ongoing grants and seven divisional grants.

Contact Information:

The UNC Dance Marathon



P.O. Box 628, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Phone: 919.843.2617

Fax: 919.843.2617


Signed Kaylee Baker

Written by Hannah Harrill

Contact: UNC-DM Publicity Chair Becca Brenner