Since 2003, students have been dancing the night away as part of Ball State University Dance Marathon (BSUDM). Students have raised more than $3.1 million for Riley Hospital throughout the years. Rebecca Slezak, DN
Dance Marathon: Fundraising, families and friendship
Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
Originally founded in 2003 by Phi Mu and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Dance Marathon is a philanthropic event in support of Riley Hospital for Children.
Held annually in the Field Sports Building, Dance Marathon asks participants to stand up for 13.1 hours. Participants can join in various activities such as dancing, yoga, kickball and testimonials — called Riley Stories — from cancer patients and families throughout the event.
Volunteers raise funds in a variety of ways from getting bids to remain standing for the entire marathon, to holding a can outside businesses to writing letters.
Since 2003, Ball State University Dance Marathon (BSUDM) has raised more than $1.2 million for Riley Hospital.
In 2008, the chapters decided to make Dance Marathon an organization that all students can join. The funds from BSUDM then went to Riley Children’s Foundation (RCF), and since 2008, the organization has raised more than $3.1 million for RCF.
Funds from BSUDM go toward the Magic Castle Cart, a way to administer Smile Therapy to Riley patients by distributing gifts and treats, and the Palliative Care Program, which focuses on providing symptom relief for children with serious illnesses.
In 2015, RCF acknowledged BSUDM with the unveiling of the BSUDM Therapy and Recreation Room in the stem cell unit of Riley Hospital.
Additionally, BSUDM pairs up 16 high schools across Indiana to provide resources for their “mini marathons.”
The organization does more than just put on a marathon, though. Throughout the year, it pairs will Riley Families to participate in various events including cook-outs, Halloween parties, football games and winter formals. Volunteers also attend soccer games, birthday parties and school plays with the families.