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Dance Marathon at UF proves it’s “our time now” and raises $2.27 million for UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital

Dance Marathon at the University of Florida raised a historic $2,270,311.40 for Children’s Miracle Network at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital this past weekend. Dance Marathon at UF had been completely virtual in 2020, but they worked closely with epidemiology and infectious disease control through the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect initiative, UF administration and Stephen C. O’Connell Center staff to ensure 2021 event participant safety was a top priority. Students and Miracle Families gathered safely in a hybrid format through social media and in socially distanced locations throughout the O’Connell Center, Norman Field and J. Wayne Reitz Union.

Two 13.1 hour shifts on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11 allowed for 640 participants and internal team members to the marathon weekend from the comfort of their own homes or in limited capacities inside the O’Connell Center. The entire marathon event took place from early Saturday morning through its total reveal outdoors on Sunday evening:

This accomplishment is a culmination of yearlong fundraising efforts by Dance Marathon at UF students, alumni and Mini Marathon high school programs, who overcame significant obstacles to make miracles for their local Children’s Miracle Network hospital.

In October 2020, Dance Marathon at UF raised more than $578,874 in just 26.2 hours during their annual fall fundraising push day, Transform Today. They continued their fight during Season of Miracles over the holiday break, through February’s Time to Unite three-week campaign and again in March through a Legacy of Hope March campaign. 21 high school programs were able to contribute an impressive $310,200.21 year-end total alongside their collegiate peers and reveal on Sunday afternoon in the Reitz Union on campus. These fundraising pushes and high schools contributed to the final total announced at the conclusion of their marathon this weekend.

 While thank you will never be enough, a giant congratulations is in order to the 21 members of 2021 Overall Team, internal members, dancer participants, alumni, Miracle Families, donors and the following high schools for their support of this monumental year’s fundraising efforts:

  • Belleview High School
  • Boca Raton Community High School
  • Buchholz High School
  • East Ridge High School
  • Eastside High School
  • Forest High School
  • Gainesville High School
  • Jupiter Community High School
  • Leesburg High School
  • Newberry High School
  • Oak Hall School
  • Olympic Heights Community High School
  • Palm Beach Central High School
  • Saint Andrew’s School
  • Seminole Ridge Community High School
  • Suncoast Community High School
  • The Villages Charter School
  • Trinity Catholic High School
  • Vanguard High School
  • Vero Beach High School
  • Wellington Community High School

While the world continued to experience unknowns and extraordinary uncertainty, and the campus community adjusted to a series of new normals each and every day, these students stood strong. They fought for families and the mission of their organization. Because of them, countless miracles have already happened in the face of adversity. They’ve proved that it’s #OurTimeNow to create a better future for kids who need it most. 

These funds will make a tangible difference in the lives of so many patients and their families. Dance Marathon at the University of Florida is honored to support Children’s Miracle Network at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. Thank you for dedicating your time to this cause. We are so proud of you!