posted November 7, 2013

“Dance Marathon” Hosts Benefit 5K Race Saturday

The student-organized Dance Marathon at Hope College has scheduled a benefit 5K run/walk for Saturday, Nov. 16, as part of the group’s on-going 2013-14 fundraising effort on behalf of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

The race will begin at 10 a.m. at the college’s DeVos Fieldhouse, located facing Fairbanks Avenue between   and 11th streets. Registration can be found online at  http://eventreg.hope.edu/EmsRegics/DanceMarathon5K. Participants who sign up with a group will pay $20. The individual fee is $25. Registration will also be available the morning of the event at the DeVos Fieldhouse.

The race is one of a variety of events scheduled across the school year in conjunction with the annual Dance Marathon fundraiser.  The 24-hour marathon itself will be held on Friday-Saturday, March 7-8, at the college’s Dow Center with more than 600 Hope students participating as dancers, morale boosters or in a variety of other roles.  The total raised by Dance Marathon across the year will be announced at the conclusion of the event on March 8.

Affiliated with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Dance Marathon at Hope is one of more than 150 such efforts at colleges, universities and high schools nationwide.

Dance Marathon first came to Hope in March of 2000. Though a school of the college’s size was only expected to raise about $5,000 in its first year, the students raised more than $23,000. In the 14 years from 2000 through 2013, Dance Marathon has raised a total of more than $1.1 million.

In recognition of the program’s efforts, Dance Marathon received the “Youth in Philanthropy Award” from the West Michigan Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in the fall of 2003.

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is West Michigan’s largest children’s hospital, and is located in a 212-bed, 464,000-square-foot facility that opened in January 2011.  Serving children and families throughout a 37-county region, the hospital includes more than 200 pediatric specialty physicians uniquely skilled in providing medical and surgical care to children in 50 pediatric specialties.

In order to help support the vast number of ailing children that visit the hospital each year, all proceeds from the marathon will go directly towards the funding of special programs that are designed to make the young patients’ visits to the hospital more bearable while also helping the families of the children to deal with their illnesses.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping children by raising funds and awareness for more than 170 children’s hospitals throughout North America.