Written By: Olivia deMontmorency
The month of March has just begun and five high schools have already hosted their Mini Marathons for Dance Marathon at the University of Florida this year.
A Mini Marathon event is run by a high school or middle school that participates in DM, with the help of each of our Marathon Relations teams. While Mini Marathon season plays a crucial role in contributing to our final fundraising total, it is the commitment of each school to share this organization’s cause in their community in the hopes of ending childhood illness that creates the biggest impact. Whether through attending a Hospitality Night, hanging out with a Miracle Child or posting on social media to collect donations, each participant is creating a positive impact on Dance Marathon at UF.
In a recap of DM at UF’s February 2021 Mini season, five high schools have collectively raised over $76,500 For The Kids! Olympic Heights High School raised $8,253.79, Jupiter High School raised $18,400.74, Vanguard High School at $5,267.72, East Ridge High School with $7,407.36, and finally Seminole Ridge High School raised $37,268.78.
Due to the pandemic, each of these events were held virtually, showing that despite the obstacles, each of these Mini Marathons were able to achieve amazing totals for UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.
Marathon Relations (South) Captain Sophia Uribe felt that even through an unparalleled time like today, the message of DM at UF was felt in each and every Mini event.
“I think the biggest takeaway is that no matter what platform the Mini is on, there are students that are still super passionate about the cause and are willing to spend a Friday or Saturday night to raise money For The Kids and for DM,” Uribe said. “They sit on Zoom for three hours just to hang out and fundraise. I think that really says a lot about how much they care and how impactful DM is at the high school level.”
Vanguard High School’s Dance Marathon Overall Anissa Luciano acknowledged that even though planning fundraising events amidst the pandemic was a struggle, it allowed her and her team to get crafty and work together – resulting in raising even more money For The Kids than their previous year.
“My committees and the people involved worked so hard the months leading up to the event and were so passionate about raising money for the Miracle Children,” Luciano said. “It really put into perspective how minuscule our modern day problems really are, and it made me appreciate the ability to connect with people in such a meaningful way.”
Organizations such as DM at UF remind us of the influence we have in our communities. East Ridge High School Overall Kate Blythe reminisces, “It made me realize how important our childhood is in making us who we are today. I want these kids to have a chance to enjoy a great childhood too.”
As Mini Marathon season continues this spring, we share our sincerest thank you to all those involved at the high school level. Your impact can be seen in the day-to-day lives of our Miracle Children, in the research conducted to fight childhood illnesses and in the sense of hope you provide the Miracle Families.
You are the future of Dance Marathon, and our future looks very bright.