On Saturday, participants of the Auburn University Dance Marathon kept standing from 10 a.m. to midnight to support the Piedmont Columbus Regional Children’s Hospital, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.
According to the AUDM webpage, the event had 1,011 registered participants and 46 registered teams for the 14-hour event. By the end of the night, $354,682.20 was raised for Piedmont Columbus Regional's neonatal intensive care unit.
“[The hospital] has a fully fledged NICU, the neonatal unit for babies who are born early,” said Jack Schwartz, president of AUDM. “Dance Marathon takes pride in helping build that NICU. We provided over eight years well over $2 million.”
The 2020 Dance Marathon relied on more on-campus outreach than in previous years, Schwartz said. Previous years targeted more companies and organizations for larger donations.
“Dance Marathon people have had this stigma of being annoying,” Schwartz said. “It’s just because we’re so passionate about what we believe in.”
Miracle families who were treated in the hospital’s NICU came to the Dance Marathon to talk about their experiences. The miracle children also got to play with participants throughout the day.
“You can say all day that the cause means a lot, but until you meet one-on-one the families, the kids; hear their stories, how hard their lives have been — it really makes it personal,” Schwartz said. “I would say that each and every one of us has that same feeling.”
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