dance marathon 28 tshirt

Year: 2022
Amount Raised: $1,361,184.28

Dance Marathon 28 was a year full of hope, dedication, and exuded the passion our students have in supporting our families. Our entire DM 28 leadership team decided that no matter what the year looked like, virtual or in person, they were ready to serve. These students decided that Dance Marathon’s mission meant too much to them to sit out and they gave it their all no matter what was thrown their way.

DM 28 launched our campaign Endless Hope knowing that that is what we had for this year. We hoped for strength, joy, laughter, and an amazing year full of miracles that we would create together. This campaign showed how each person connected to our mission was able to provide hope to our kiddos.

UIDM 28 worked to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion were at the center of everything we do. Through educationals, empowerment team meetings, and daily conversations, we began to break down barriers and create a more inclusive environment within Dance Marathon. While there is so much work to still be done, Dance Marathon has made it known to our community that DEI remains crucial and we want to do more to ensure everyone has a place in our organization.

We were able to give our participants and families a hybrid experience, allowing opportunities for everyone to enjoy our programming in a way they felt safe. Virtual playtimes gave us a chance to craft with our kiddos in the hospital, our DM community took the streets of Chicago and ran the Marathon so our kids know they do not fight alone, we were able to see the faces of our dancers while they listened to their first family story and found their whys, family events were a time to meet our kiddos and families face to face again.

We were able to see the amazing work a group of college students were able to accomplish. Day to DM was able to once again occupy the IMU and we fundraised together, spreading our lime as far as it could go. We hit the cowbell to celebrate the donations going directly to supporting our families. We had Power Hour and danced until we couldn’t anymore. We raised $343,954.04 in just 24 hours.

Dance Marathon 28’s Big Event was moved to a virtual platform just 30 days before the event due to rising COVID-19 numbers. While this was not the outcome we hoped for, the leadership team and community pulled together to produce an event that would be fun, engaging, and safe. We sent out Big Event boxes to our families full of treats, activities, and swag. We invited a limited number of dancers and leadership members to the IMU to celebrate select activities in person. We continue our beloved Big Event traditions. We reimagined family walk in to celebrate the kids we do everything for, we held remote activities for dancers to celebrate outside of the digital world, and we had tons of entertainment on our livestream. Together, under incredible circumstances, we raised $1.361, 184.28 all for our families. It was a moment we will never forget.

No one knew what to expect for DM 28, we only knew that our fundraising and emotional support had to continue. The group of students who came together this year showed that Dance Marathon continues to provide Endless Hope every year, because our families and kiddos mean the world to us.

Anna Dodge

DM 28 Executive Director