Dance Marathon 15

Dance Marathon 15 was coming off the first million-dollar-toteboard in DM14 but ran into some early challenges in the summer of 2008. The state of Iowa experienced one of the largest natural disasters in its history - the 500-Year Flood. This flood devastated the region shutting down numerous buildings on campus, including the IMU. During that time, it wasn’t clear when the IMU would re-open nor if UIDM would be able to hold the Big Event there in February. But the IMU opened in time to keep the tradition of having the Big Event there IMU but without the use of the basement, which wouldn’t reopen until 2015. The perseverance of the students made an impact across the state, as Governor Chet Culver made a trip to Iowa city specifically to meet with the students, participate in the "Call for Kids with Cancer" Radiothon and learn how UI Dance Marathon supports pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Guided by their tagline of the year. “We Don’t Sit Because Cancer Doesn’t Quit,” the focus throughout the year was to really celebrate the DM kids and their families. With that, one of the most well-known celebrations in UIDM was born. Graduation.  This ceremony recognized those who are five years off treatment as this marks a huge milestone in the lives of those diagnosed with cancer. Being cancer free. Despite a few minor setbacks, the ceremony turned out to be a huge success and was extremely well-received not only by the families, but by the students. Seeing the joy and pride from the kids, their parents, and extended families was a testament to all they have gone through and truly a touching moment. 

Another well-known program was also created this year. Dance Marathon the Marathon (DMM). DMM is a marathon training group with the sole purpose of completing the Bank of America Chicago Marathon while raising money, awareness, and promoting the ideals of Dance Marathon. And this idea started with dancer, Alan Cosby. Cosby ran 2 marathons in high school with his track teammates so finding a way in college to connect his running passion with a great cause seemed like a great fit. Because of this, he had the idea to have Dance Marathon participate in the 2008 Chicago Marathon as a charity team. He pitched the idea to Business Director, Travis Hiltrop, who loved it and fought to implement the idea. From there, Dance Marathon the Marathon (DMM) was born. That first year, DMM contributed $100,000 dollars, or 10% of the DM15 toteboard! Since that time, there have been over 1,700 runners in DMM and it consistently raises over $200,000 annually For The Kids. 

The 15th year of UI Dance Marathon may have experienced one of the greatest natural disasters to ever hit the state of Iowa but that didn’t stop them from creating new programs that are now staples in the organization. 

DM15 Recruitment Video:

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