Year: 2019
Amount Raised: $2,960,403.25

For 25 years, Dance Marathon has served as a means of support, hope, smiles, and endless love. Dance Marathon 25 — our Silver Year — was a milestone anniversary for what has become the largest student organization at the University of Iowa. With 24 impactful and life-changing years behind us, we recognized that this year was an opportunity to bring this organization to new heights; that through inclusivity, unwavering optimism, and the courage to challenge tradition, Dance Marathon 25 was an opportunity to empower every single individual and introduce a new culture to the organization.

Following some of the most successful years in Dance Marathon, it was evident something remarkable had to be done for the 25th year. To ensure that each person recognized their worth and understood their value within the organization, we created the Shape Your Impact campaign. Shape Your Impact encouraged everyone to do more year-round to contribute more to our organization’s mission. This campaign served to remind everyone who is a part of the Dance Marathon community, that they too are crucial to the successes of our organization.

To allow the Shape Your Impact campaign to transcend well beyond its potential, we ensured that each individual would be recognized and honored through our diversity and inclusion initiatives. Our newly established efforts resulted from our Campus Relations Committee, whose members worked passionately to use our campus’ resources to achieve inclusivity throughout our organization. From this, our members hosted the first ever Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable, allowing for our first Diversity and Inclusion Audit as well. This Audit recognizes areas within our organization that was lacking in diversity, inclusion, and accommodations, and proposes our ideas, and others, to resolves these shortcomings. We are honored to have laid this foundation and eager to see what the future holds in this area.

There were many additional highlights throughout our silver year, but one of the most notable being the allocation of $2.2 million to establish the University of Iowa Dance Marathon Child Life Specialist position on Floor 11 of Stead Family Children’s Hospital. With this, we will not only be funding a Child Life Specialist to bring smiles and support to our active treatment families, but also allowing the hospital to hire and pay for an additional Child Life Specialist on an additional floor in Stead. We are honored to be a part of this historic allocation, as well as several other significant aspects for Dance Marathon 25.

Through empowering every single individual the UI Dance Marathon community touched, we were able to raise $2,960,403.25. Our impact is yet to be completely understood, and we are excited for the many more smiles that are now able to be created.

- Charlie Ellis, Dance Marathon 25 Executive Director