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Breaking records

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 February 2017

 

Dance Marathon at Florida State on Sunday completed yet another record-setting year, raising $1.8 million to support families of children receiving specialized (and expensive) health care through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Half of the money raised is invested in the FSU College of Medicine’s pediatric outreach program, which supports a variety of local organizations providing care for children who often would not otherwise receive it.

In the last five years, DM at FSU has more than tripled the amount of money it raises in the annual event at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.

“As your doctor, I recommend that you have your eardrums and your swollen feet checked out tomorrow,” Senior Associate Dean Alma Littles told more than a thousand dancers during the closing ceremonies. “But the one thing that DOESN’T need to be checked out is your heart. You people have the biggest, strongest, loveliest hearts we’ve ever seen!”

FSU students covered 40 hours of dancing in total (in a pair of 20-hour shifts). The fundraising started not long after DM 2016 ended and continued through the closing ceremony.

Money raised goes to the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville to help cover the cost for families from the Big Bend Region whose children are in need of critical care services.

Half of the total is returned to the FSU College of Medicine, which invests in a year-round primary care clinic in Gadsden County schools that may help identify health problems in children earlier. The College of Medicine also invests the funds locally to address numerous pediatric health-care needs through the following:

  • Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Newborn ICU.
  • Big Bend Hospice and its Camp Woe-Be-Gone grief camps for kids.
  • Bond Community Health Center.
  • The Young Parents Project and Early Head Start Program.
  • The National Institute for Infant & Child Medical Music Therapy.

For the second consecutive year, FSU medical students formed their own dance team. The demands of medical school, including an exam the day after the event, didn’t allow for them to be on their feet for 20 consecutive hours, but they danced for four of those hours and cheered on the undergrads during closing ceremonies.

FSU medical students who participated include: Paige Blinn, Jackie DePorre, Olivia Donnelly, Meher Farooq, Eric Heinrichs, Lex Kimmel, Meghan McCallister, Michelle McCullers, Scott Nelson, and Ariana Trautmann.