Nearly 500 Georgia College students have registered to take part in the university’s largest fundraiser this weekend to support a Children’s Miracle Network hospital through Georgia College Miracle’s 10th annual Dance Marathon event.
“Dance Marathon is our biggest fundraiser and it’s a fun-filled 12-hour lock-in where we stand on our feet in honor of the children that can’t and as a representation of the trials these children face on a daily basis,” said Loren Ranson, executive director of GC Miracle. “Last year we doubled the amount of participants that signed up, from about 200 in 2012 to about 400 in 2013, and increased our fundraising total from about $24,000 to $42,000.”
This year’s grand event is scheduled from noon to midnight Saturday in the Wellness and Recreation Center on West Campus, featuring games, dancing, food, crafts and opportunities to hear from children and families that have been impacted by the Children’s Miracle Network. As of Tuesday afternoon, 480 participants signed up for the Dance Marathon, raising nearly $24,000 in online donations.
“We’ve also received some offline donations, so it brings our total to around $30,000,” Ranson said. “Children and families come from the hospital to tell their stories as we lift them up and share a day of joy and positivity. We dance for those that can’t, and everything we do is for the kids.”
GC Miracle is a year-round organization that raises awareness and support for The Children’s Hospital at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. Since GC Miracle’s inception at the university, more than $100,000 has been raised through various fundraisers for the area hospital.
“The money has gone to things like the NICU and Child Life Specialist services,” Ranson said. “This year, our money is going to the hospitals’ bereavement camp for families that have lost someone or been through a trauma. Because it is a [Children’s Miracle Network] hospital, no child is turned away because of financial reasons.”
GC Miracle also conducts other events throughout the year leading up to the grand Dance Marathon finale, including concerts on campus, acoustic nights in downtown Milledgeville, spirit nights at local restaurants and Miracle Makers — a campaign that engages faculty.
“We are always looking for ways to engage the student body,” Ranson said, “and make our presence known in the community.”
GC students can register for Dance Marathon by visiting www.helpmakemiracles.org/event/gcmiracle. For more information or to donate to the cause, email email@example.com, or like the GC Miracle Facebook page for details.