Miracle Week begins for Dance Marathon

As a group of students broke into dance in the middle of the Marshall Student Center (MSC) atrium Monday afternoon, Miracle Week for Dance Marathon began.

Miracle Week, sponsored by the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE) is a promotional recruitment period for Dance Marathon and will include events through the week, which will include pies in the face and community fundraisers.

Janine Kiray, executive director of Dance Marathon and a senior majoring in molecular biology and psychology, said Miracle Week comes in preparation of the Dance Marathon on March 2, an event that raises money for All Childrens Hospital in St. Petersburg.

The reason we have it a month early is to increase awareness and get our estimates of how many participants will be coming, Kiray said.

As of Monday afternoon, Kiray said, more than 240 students had registered for the Dance Marathon, pledging more than $2,400. Kiray said she hopes to register 350 students by the end of next week.

The events through the week include fundraisers at the Chilis on Fowler Avenue on Tuesday evening and at the You Say When Yogurt shop on Fowler Avenue on Thursday, which will collect proceeds for Dance Marathon.

The CLCE will set up a table at Bull Market on Wednesday to give out treats to students and allow participants to throw pies at staff members of the CLCE for a donation.

The week will end on Friday with discounted Dance Marathon registrations and information at the CLCE about Dance Marathon. Registration fees for Dance Marathon are $10 until Feb. 1, and $15 after.

Stephen Strenges, special events director for Dance Marathon and a senior majoring in international studies, said he had the opportunity to get involved with Miracle Week and Dance Marathon last year, and wanted to continue helping with the program this year.

Last year, Kiray said, Dance Marathon raised more than $25,000 and expects a similar amount this year with an outcome exceeding
500 participants.

In our 10-year course at USF we have raised over $120,000 easily for the hospital, he said.

The whole principle behind Dance Marathon when it started, was to be standing for those who cant, Kiray said. There are childrens hospitals throughout the country where children are fighting for their lives in a lot of cases, so why cant we stand and fight for them and have fun while doing them?