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WATCH: UC Students Organize Third-Annual Dance Marathon to Benefit ‘Champions’

Organizers say the dance marathon is a growing event at colleges and high schools across the country, as well as at UC.

Date: 1/24/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Cincinnati Dance Marathon

UC ingot   Student organizers of the third-annual Cincinnati Dance Marathon are hoping the February event is the largest yet, and they’re challenging University of Cincinnati students, faculty, staff and alumni to kick up their heels for a good cause. Cincinnati Dance Marathon takes place from noon, Saturday, Feb. 26, through noon, Sunday, Feb. 27, in the UC Campus Recreation Center. The event benefits the Champions program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as well as the Children’s Miracle Network.

The Children’s Miracle Network reports that similar events take place at more than 150 schools across the country to raise money for children’s hospitals in their communities. Cincinnati Dance Marathon Chairman Carmen Pescatrice, a 22-year-old UC senior majoring in organizational leadership, says more than 150 UC students helped to raise more than $8,000 the first year of Cincinnati Dance Marathon, and 500 dancers raised more than $13,500 last year. This year, their goal is to raise $20,000 to benefit children like little Payton Stevens, a 10-year-old heart patient who, as seen in the video, got the chance to enjoy just being a kid at Cincinnati Dance Marathon last year.

Dance Marathon
Left to right: Carmen Pescatrice, Payton Stevens, Brittany Haddock

“She lit up the entire room. Everyone was dancing with her,” says Pescatrice, one of the founders of the UC student organization. “This is a 24-hour event. We’re standing up all night and dancing to support these kids – these champions – who are fighting to stand up for their lives every day.”

Pescatrice says Cincinnati Dance Marathon organizers will be out and about in the coming weeks to recruit fellow dancers, including students, faculty, staff and alumni. They’ll be lending a helping hand in random acts of kindness, encouraging the UC community to return the favor to help children like Payton Stevens. Participants can register and donate online through Cincinnati Dance Marathon’s website.

Once they register, they’re provided with resources to help reach out to family and friends to solicit donations for the fundraiser.

In addition to supporting Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati Dance Marathon organizers are also challenging dancers and onlookers to support the student-driven Proudly Pennies campaign.

Pescatrice says dancers and visitors will be asked to contribute 11 pennies toward the student-led initiative to support UC’s Proudly Cincinnati campaign.

Cincinnati Dance Marathon

The overall goal of the Proudly Pennies campaign is to raise 1 billion pennies (equivalent to $10 million) to support the Proudly Cincinnati campaign.

It’s a bright moment in February, in what can sometimes be the dark and dreary days of a Cincinnati winter. “Hey, we’re all together here,” says Pescatrice. “Let’s get together, have fun and raise money for a great cause and the newest UC tradition. Let’s make this our best Cincinnati Dance Marathon yet!”