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Dance Marathon rings up funds for Children’s Hospital

Mar. 24, 2021, 2:27 PM

Students from Vanderbilt University video chat with Children’s Hospital patient ambassador Grace Hamilton during Dance Marathon.
Students from Vanderbilt University video chat with Children’s Hospital patient ambassador Grace Hamilton during Dance Marathon.

by Paige Turner

Special events around the country have been cancelled due to COVID-19 health safety concerns, but students across Middle Tennessee did not let that stop them from helping patients at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Recently, students from 12 colleges and high schools across the area teamed up to host one collective virtual dance marathon event, called “Marathon of Marathons.”

Historically, participating schools have hosted in-person dance marathon events to raise funds and awareness for Children’s Hospital. As the culmination of a year of fundraising, the event typically includes a special dance, games and inspirational stories from patient families and hospital leadership.

During the 13-hour Marathon of Marathons, each school had one hour to highlight their individual dance marathon program.

The event concluded with the fundraising total reveal — more than $300,000. Collectively, dance marathons have raised more than $3 million for Children’s Hospital over the years. These donations have helped fund vital programs at the hospital from discovery research grants, to fellowships in the neonatal intensive care unit to cancer research and capital projects.

“The Marathon of Marathons is an incredible example of the resilience and ingenuity of our dance marathon student leaders,” said Meg Rush, MD, MMHC, president of Children’s Hospital. “What makes these students extraordinary is their ability to take an obstacle and turn it into an opportunity. We are so grateful for their perseverance and dedication, as their generosity will help us bring hope and healing to patients and families in our community and well beyond.”

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