Members of Dance Marathon at FSU gave the Florida State University College of Medicine a reason to dance as the organization presented a check for more than $550,000 to the college Wednesday afternoon for the benefit of children throughout Gadsden and Leon counties.
“We’ve received many wonderful gifts at the College of Medicine, but this one is extra special to us,” said Dr. Alma Littles, senior associate dean at the FSU College of Medicine. “It’s all for one reason as our Dance Marathon friends sum up in three magic words — ‘for the kids.’"
The proceeds are part of the record $1.16 million raised in 2015 by Dance Marathon, the largest student-run philanthropy on the Florida State campus.
“I suspect we’ll never know how hard the Dance Marathon executive committee worked to pull off this latest miracle,” Littles said.
That money supports the Children’s Miracle Network and UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville and the FSU College of Medicine’s pediatric outreach programs.
“It is so rewarding to see what our organization has done over the past few years and what we have accomplished together,” said Felicia Steinberg, a senior majoring in hospitality management and marketing, who serves as executive director of Dance Marathon at FSU. “We are so proud to present this check today, but most importantly, we are proud of the impact this money has in our local community.”
The money invested locally supports a school-based primary-care health clinic at three schools in Gadsden County, where children often have inadequate access to care. The clinics represent a partnership among the College of Medicine, the Gadsden County Health Department and Gadsden County Schools.
The College of Medicine also distributes funds to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare to support pediatric services, including potentially lifesaving genetic screening each year for a few adolescents who otherwise could not get it. Additional support goes to Bond Community Health Center, Big Bend Hospice and the Young Parents Project at Early Head Start.
Special guests at the presentation included Mark Amox, administrative director/executive director of the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital; nurse-practitioner Susan LaJoie, who oversees the Gadsden school-based clinic; and students from the medical school’s Pediatrics Interest Group.
For more information on Dance Marathon at FSU, visit http://dmfsu.org/.