Dance Marathon at Florida State University and Children’s Miracle Network at University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital presented today a check for more than $1 million to the FSU College of Medicine for the benefit of children throughout Gadsden and Leon Counties.
Earlier this year, Dance Marathon at Florida State announced that it had raised a one-year total of $2.15 million, a record-shattering figure that ranks in the top four nationally for Dance Marathon program fundraising.
The proceeds presented today are part of that record $2.15 million, which supports the FSU College of Medicine’s pediatric outreach programs and the Children’s Miracle Network at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville.
“We receive many wonderful gifts here at the College of Medicine, and we appreciate every single one of them, but there is certainly something special about this one,” said College of Medicine Dean John P. Fogarty. “This year for the first time, they’re presenting a check for more than $1 million to the college, supporting pediatric outreach programs that will make a difference in the lives of children throughout this region.”
Those outreach programs include school-based, primary-care health clinics at three schools in Gadsden County, where children often have inadequate access to care. The clinics represent a partnership between the College of Medicine, the Gadsden County Health Department and Gadsden County Schools.
Members of the Dance Marathon student executive committee, students from the medical school’s Pediatrics Interest Group, representatives from UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and other organizations receiving funds gathered in the atrium of the College of Medicine’s John Thrasher Building to celebrate the culmination of Dance Marathon’s year-long campaign.
With the presentation of these most recent funds, the total amount gifted to the College of Medicine from Dance Marathon at FSU now exceeds $5 million. That makes Dance Marathon one of the top donors to the college in its history.
Over two 20-hour shifts, this year’s dancers logged 40 total hours of dancing, spurred on, as the organization famously says, to provide life-changing support “for the kids.”
“This past year, we had a record-breaking number of participants in both fundraisers and dancers,” said Andie Garcia, 2018-2019 executive director of Dance Marathon at FSU. “We believe we were able to do this because we pride ourselves in creating a space in which students can take up the cause as their own and make a difference in their community.”
The College of Medicine shared Dance Marathon-raised funds in 2018 with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare to support pediatric critical-care services. Additional funds to support children have been provided to Bond Community Health Center, Big Bend Hospice and the Young Parents Project at Early Head Start.