Dance Marathon Students Shimmy Their Way to a Miracle

Wondering why you cannot seem to escape Glee every time you go to the Campus Center? Miracle@Rollins, a dance marathon benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network, is registering volunteers and collecting donations for the annual Dance Marathon on Feb. 12, 2011 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Miracle@Rollins is a multihour event which combines dancing, music, games, food, and entertainment. Students raise funds for kids treated at local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals by staying awake and on their feet for a full 12.5 hours (in honor of Rollins’ 125th anniversary). The event challenges dancers mentally and physically, symbolizing the challenges faced every day by the children treated at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, including the Shands Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando.

This will be the fourth annual Miracle@Rollins, also known as Rollins’ Dance Marathon. It is the largest and most successful student-run philanthropic event on campus, raising more than $70,000 to date. In its inaugural year, Rollins’ Dance Marathon doubled its fundraising goal and was named the “Best New Dance Marathon” out of 17 launched nationwide.

On Friday, Nov. 19, the Miracle@ Rollins dancer registration began. On that day, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the Glee theme song, played repeatedly during lunch and dinner. Two days into registration, the song changed with every donation or when a dancer registered. Now Glee songs will be played in the Cornell Campus Center to excite the campus about the upcoming marathon.

The entire Dance Marathon will be Glee themed. The event will contain many of the same events from last year and more. This year there is hope that Rollins Improv Players, student bands, and a Glee-themed karaoke contest will all be included. Patients from the Children’s Miracle Network will also stop by periodically to tell their stories, in between the DJs, comedians, live bands, and other performances.

Mary Neville, director of Miracle@Rollins, loves Dance Marathon. “Personally, I really enjoy meeting the children we help at the event. It gives the event so much depth. Hearing the children’s stories last year really touched my heart. I really think this year is going to be a pivotal year in Dance Marathon! We are tossing around some really great ideas to make this not only impact the Rollins community, but Winter Park as a whole,” she said.

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