12th annual UNC Dance Marathon raises more than $420,000 for N.C. Children's Hospital

After 24 straight hours on their feet for the kids, the UNC Dance Marathon announced Saturday evening that it raised $421,851.32 to benefit the children and families of the N.C. Children's Hospital.

12th annual UNC Dance Marathon raises more than $420,000 for N.C. Children's Hospital click to enlarge Thanks to the incredible students at UNC, more than $420,000 was raised at the 2010 UNC Dance Marathon!

This total, representative of the student group's year-long fundraising efforts, is an increase of almost $30,000 over last year and brings the organization's twelve year fundraising total to more than $2.5 million.

“Seeing the students of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill come together under the same cause of benefiting the patients and families of the N.C. Children’s Hospital gives me such hope in what Carolina students are capable of accomplishing,” said Taylor Scott, the overall coordinator for the 2010 UNC Dance Marathon.

The year's fundraising total was revealed at the conclusion of this weekend's 24-hour UNC Dance Marathon, which featured 1,600 UNC-Chapel Hill student dancers and a full schedule of performance groups, guest speakers and visits from Children's Hospital patients and their families. Event highlights included opening remarks by UNC women’s basketball coach, Sylvia Hatchell, setting a new Guinness World Record for the longest massage train, and a special visit to the Marathon by Children's Hospital patient, Keeley Simmen, who has cerebral palsy.

The money raised this year was a result of numerous fundraising efforts by UNC students. In addition to pledging to stand on their feet for a full 24 hours, the 1,600 students who registered to dance at this year's Marathon each raised at least $150, with one participant raising more than $5,000. The money raised by the dancers was added to funds raised at various events organized by the UNC Dance Marathon committees throughout the year. These events, developed and coordinated by hundreds of committee members, included a golf tournament, benefit concerts and coin-collecting drives at UNC football and basketball games.

Funds raised by the UNC Dance Marathon support the patients and families of N.C. Children's Hospital in a number of ways. Each year, the Marathon allocates a portion of the fundraising total to its "For the Kids Fund," which provides for expenses not covered by insurance or Medicaid that families may not otherwise be able to afford. In addition, the Marathon offers several divisional grants each year to divisions within the Department of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital.

This year's Dance Marathon took place on campus at UNC's Fetzer Gym. It began at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, and concluded with the grand total fundraising announcement at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Learn more about UNC Dance Marathon at http://www.uncmarathon.org/.