Bulls for Kids (BFK) is attempting to break a Guinness world record at its upcoming Dance Marathon.
Dance Marathon is an annual event the organization hosts, which will Shriners Hospital for Children for the first time. Many universities have Dance Marathons, but at USF, participants typically dance or stand for 12 consecutive hours.
Quentin Waid, a vice president of business for BFK, said the organization recently received confirmation that it would be able to attempt to break the record.
“We applied to do several different world records, but today (Tuesday) we got the confirmation to do the Guiness Book of World Records largest group hug with people of different nationalities,” Waid said. “We need 51 different nationalities to break the record.”
Eden Wooster, another one of BFK’s vice presidents of business, said this record would represent USF and BFK well.
“Something that we really pride ourselves on is bringing all types of people at USF together for the day,” Wooster said. “Specifically, people from so many different nationalities.”
Wooster said she would describe the event as a celebration.
“Dance Marathon is a nationwide movement that universities participate in for their local hospitals,” Wooster said. “USF is very fortunate to have one and we benefit Shriners Hospital for Children (Tampa) that sits right here on campus. Its a year long movement with all sorts of events which all lead up to your final Dance Marathon. There’s a celebration.
“Twelve hours of moving on your feet celebration for those kids. Kids come from the hospital and they tell their story and it’s really something special to be a part of. It brings people from all walks of USF together for one day and one cause.”
According to the event’s registration page, BFK has raised over $550,000 for Shriners in its 15 years of existence on campus. This year, BFK is hoping to raise enough money so Shriners can purchase a Vicon Motion Analysis System T-Series.
“We’re specifically fundraising for a form of technology that observes the way the body moves and helps the kids have better fitting prosthetics or to get other care they may need,” Wooster said.
According to Wooster, being on your feet is more of a symbolic gesture to show solidarity and empathy with children who may be too sick or hurt to stand.
“We always say you dance for the kids that can’t and you stand for the kids that can’t,” Wooster said. “The idea is maybe they’ve been sitting in a hospital bed for the past year. Maybe there was an accident and they’re in a wheelchair working on a way to stand again.”
Registration for BFK’s Dance Marathon ends Saturday with the actual event will taking place Mar. 3 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“It makes you want to cry, it really does,” Wooster said. “You hear these stories and you see how much people care. You’re actually changing lives. You’re letting kids be kids. You take for granted that you were able to ride a bike or that you were able to play baseball. Some kids can’t without proper medical care.”