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Kids benefit from dancing feet

Four-year-old Josiah Atchison was diagnosed in November with a tumor in his brain stem. His parents Marie and Dan, said All Children’s Hospital is working diligently “to find treatment for this kind of tumor.” Marie noted that the doctors and the staff at All Children’s Hospital were very accommodating to her family and very deserving of all the help they could receive.

USF students assembled in the recreation center Friday evening for the USF Dance Marathon. All proceeds from this charity event benefitted the All Children’s Hospital which works in conjunction with the Children’s Miracle Network telethon. The Dance Marathon was sponsored by Volunteer USF, Greek Week and the Residence Hall Association.

A $10 registration fee was accepted as each student’s donation. Junior Taylor Runyth, with Volunteer USF, said that while the fee was each students’ donation to All Children’s, students “were encouraged to raise more money” for the cause.

Students registered in teams or as individuals. The groups were comprised of representatives from different Greek organizations or residence halls. Some teams made T-shirts, and many sorority and fraternity members wore their letters with pride.

A gymnasium in the recreation center was completely decorated with green and gold streamers and banners made by different teams of students organizations.

Throughout the event, students participated in different challenges. There was the hula hoop contest, a limbo contest and several others. Some groups prepared dances and steps. Others line-danced during “Country Hour.” Iota Phi Theta performed a step routine for the students and the X-Men rap group performed.

Senior Armando Castellon was very enthusiastic about the event.

“This is a lot of fun and a great way to meet a lot of people … but all in all, it’s for the kids,”Castellon said.

A highlight of the marathon was the visiting children and their families from All Children’s Hospital. The families, such as the Atchisons, felt “encouraged to know that there are big universities who want to support All Children’s (Hospital).” Josiah and the other children had an opportunity to play with the students and even participated at the video game station. The children made casts of their handprints which, when dried, became trophies for the winning teams.

“It’s a very personalized way of thanking the participants of this marathon,” said Rachael Head, graduate assistant to Volunteer USF.