Six figure miracle for Children's Miracle Network
Auburn University's Dance Marathon took place last Saturday and raised $124,739.89 for Children's Miracle Network. About 600 people came to the event out of about 900 who registered ahead of time.
Morale, a committee designed to motivate dancers to stay and participate the whole time, had entertainment throughout the night to keep everyone interested.
"That was our biggest task all day was to keep people motivated," said Aaron Martin, director of morale. "Every five minutes of dance marathon, all 12 hours, was planned out."
They played different games like human pong, Zumba and trivia as well as hosting live entertainment including Tim Tyler who frequently plays at Sky Bar. For those who didn't want to stay in the ballroom, the game room downstairs was available to play Wii and use the photo booth.
Several of the families came and children told their testimonies.
One boy that spoke was 16 years old with thyroid cancer.
"It was so touching and inspiring," said Jasmine Amoo, vice president of relations. "You could just see how thankful that he was for everything and we were just thankful for him to be there and I'm not much of a crier, but I couldn't help it I was just bawling crying."
Martin said that he related to this testimony more then others because of his age, and that it was a very touching moment.
The money raised goes to the Medical Center in Columbus where the neonatal intensive care unit uses it to buy incubators, said Will McCann, vice president of operations.
Last year they raised enough money for them to buy one incubator and this year they raised enough for two.
Although a few people didn't stay the whole time, members of Morale kept the dancers going and there were still a lot of people there at the end, said Amoo.
They would motivate dancers by reminding them that they were doing this for the kids and how much it would benefit them.
"Saturday definitely was worth it," Martin said "As the director I put in a lot of hours over the last year and I've been on staff for this year's dance marathon since last spring and it definitely gets frustrating at times and disheartening, but Saturday made it all worth it for sure."
McCann said that his favorite part of the event was the final reveal and the rave.
The AUDM staff is already beginning to plan for next year and discussing improvements that they could make for future dance marathons. There is a possibility that the staff will reorganize the executive structure for next year.
Amoo was surprised at the total money that was raised.
"I wasn't expecting the result that we ended up having," Amoo said. "We started off really nervous you know we wanted it to go good and it just was more then we could have ever executed and I know throughout the year it got really stressful at times, but it was so worth it; it was one of the best days of my life for sure."