Written By: Hannah Bobek
Dance Marathon at the University of Florida and its participants are always learning and improving upon our organization because of our Alumni. Without them, we would have no one to look to for the future of our philanthropy. When someone participates in Dance Marathon at UF, he or she is forever a part of this organization and the DM at UF community. It is not only current participants who spread awareness about DM at UF but also our Alumni who play an integral role in the organization each and every day.
Arielle Darvin was involved in DM at UF from 2012 to 2016. During the first three years of her involvement in the organization, she was a Dancer and a Morale Captain. She became the Morale Overall for DM at UF in 2016 during her senior year. Below, she shares her experience with Dance Marathon, the meaningful impact it had on her life and the legacy she left on the organization:
“It is really difficult to discuss the person I am today or the trajectory my career path took without mentioning DM at UF; it really played a defining role in shaping my character and molding the way I interact with the families and children I work with.
I truly desire to know and connect with families of children with disabilities and chronic health conditions – to really know their stories is what I strive for. I think this stems from my experiences with Dance Marathon, getting to know the Miracle Children and listening to families share their stories at events. Listening to Miracle Families express the impact that Dance Marathon and healthcare professionals profoundly had on their lives is the primary reason I decided to go into healthcare.
Now, I work as a pediatric audiologist at a Children’s Miracle Network hospital, where I know the “Morale Overall” in me shines through every day. A wise Morale Captain of mine once said they would go above and beyond to bring Dance Marathon inspiration to those near and far in their life because it not only brought them joy, but because ‘the kids we play for can never have a big enough team.’ Dance Marathon at UF will always live in me, and I will forever be a part of this team.”
DM at UF has raised more than $24 million dollars for UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital since its inception at the university in 1995. We would not have been able to achieve this without those who have come before us and paved the way for the future of our philanthropy. Their donations, efforts and support of our organization are only a few of the reasons that Dance Marathon continues to be a success at the University of Florida.
In 2020 alone, our DM at UF Alumni collectively raised more than $82,000, and they continue to show their dedication to the organization to this day. We would not have become the most successful student-run philanthropy in the southeastern United States if it were not for the commitment of our Alumni. And while we may be DM at UF, our network of devoted, loyal Alumni spans all across the country.
Dance Marathon Alumni formed as an official group in 2013 and has been going strong ever since. If you participated in Dance Marathon at UF in the past, you can become part of this group by signing up for a miracle or a legacy membership. Click the link here to renew your membership to join the Dance Marathon Alumni: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebLvFrPQs3axz_5di7SBFW34eIFwmSTCf_AxfjTYcCSTQpiA/viewform.