Dance Marathon, Florida State University’s largest student-led organization, returned to the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center from March 3-5 for its 28th annual Marathon weekend.
More than a thousand students participated in this year’s marathon, raising a total of $1,308,578 for local children in need of specialized pediatric and medical care.
“It’s really special to be able to come together on one weekend to be in the same space like the Civic Center and just be able to celebrate everything that we were able to accomplish this year with everyone who played a huge part in our movement,” said Lindsay Wilson, executive director of Dance Marathon at Florida State University.
A student favorite on campus, the yearlong fundraising tradition began in 1995. Since then, FSU has remained committed to advocating for its beneficiaries: the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and the FSU College of Medicine Pediatric Outreach Program.
After raising funds through individual and organizational fundraising efforts, participants united to stand on their feet for 30 hours in honor of children who cannot.
At the top of every hour, participants joined in the 2023 Dance Marathon line dance and heard from “miracle families” who have benefitted from fundraising efforts.
“The miracle stories are my favorite part, and it makes it all worth it for me,” said Piper Green, a student delegate for Dance Marathon. “What they are enduring in their lives is so much harder than standing for 30 hours, so that’s why I do this.”
Wilson said this year’s motto was “We’ll Be There.”
“As long as kids need hospitals, Dance Marathon will be there to support them,” Wilson said. “No matter the number that’s raised at the end of the year, we know that we did everything we could to support these children and their families, and we know that we’ve made an impact on them.”
With DJs, a silent disco, karaoke, local Tallahassee bands, FSU student performers like the Seminole Tap Troupe and a whole room dedicated to “miracle families,” students had many things to do to stay awake and energized.
“I had such a great time this weekend and was really looking forward to reveal — but then I just broke down when I saw the final number,” Green said. “We all did that all together — collectively — and it was just amazing.”
Dance Marathon at FSU has raised more than $20 million in the past 28 years.
For more information, visit dmfsu.org.
All photos courtesy of Dance Marathon at Florida State University.