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Marathon dancers are among med school's
top all-time donors

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March 2018

In November 2002, the College of Medicine reported: Student organizers of Florida State University’s annual Dance Marathon are excited to announce that the Children’s Miracle Network at Shands Children’s Hospital, which traditionally benefits from the event, is partnering this year with FSU’s new College of Medicine to benefit children in Leon and surrounding counties. “This is really great for the students,” said Dance Marathon Director Tim Stutz. “We love working with CMN, and we know how important Shands is for really sick kids in this area, but being able to support our medical school in providing care for needy kids in this area really means a lot.”

The new medical school was thrilled some months later to receive its first check from FSU’s dancers, totaling more than $60,000. But, brother, they were just getting warmed up.

This year, on March 4, DM at FSU announced a record one-year fundraising total of $2.15 million. As in years past, roughly half of that total will wind up at the College of Medicine. When it does, the grand total of gifts from Dance Marathon to the College of Medicine will be roughly $5.2 million.

In other words, Dance Marathon at FSU is among the top donors in College of Medicine history.

“Most of the gifts we receive are the result of a lifetime of hard work, planning, investing, good fortune and a generous spirit, and we love and appreciate every one of them,” said Dean John P. Fogarty. “Dance Marathon’s gifts represent plenty of hard work, planning and generosity – but instead of being spread over a lifetime, they’re condensed into one year, and finally squeezed into one energetic weekend. We could not be more grateful for these inspiring young dancers and to the donors of every age who support them.”

This year’s students logged 40 hours of dancing spread over two 20-hour shifts. The fundraising started not long after DM 2017 ended and continued through the closing ceremony.

Money raised goes to the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville to help cover costs for Big Bend families whose children need critical care. With its share of the proceeds, the FSU College of Medicine invests in a year-round primary-care clinic in Gadsden County schools that may help identify health problems in children earlier.

In years past, the College of Medicine also has invested the proceeds to address pediatric health-care needs through Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s NICU (now called The Florida State University College of Medicine Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), where a plaque acknowledges Dance Marathon’s generosity; 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; and the National Institute for Infant & Child Medical Music Therapy.

College of Medicine students couldn’t take part in the dancing this year because of spring break. But here’s who did join the dancers onstage at the Civic Center right at the end: FSU President John Thrasher.