FAU to host second annual Dance Marathon for charity

Florida Atlantic students will dance for 13 hours to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network this March.


Max Jackson | Photo Editor

Emily Creighton, Features Editor

After dancing the way to nearly $6,000 it’s debut year in 2014, Florida Atlantic is set to host another “OWLthon” Dance Marathon for the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) on Mar. 21.

The 13.1 hour-long event will take place in FAU Boca’s Rec. Center and challenges students to dance non-stop to raise money for the non-profit organization. According to the CMN website, the time participants spend up on their feet will help give them insight to what the patients at CMN Hospitals go through daily, battling illnesses from cancer to pediatric AIDS.

Over 150 universities and colleges across the nation hold a CMN Dance Marathon every year, including schools like University of Maryland with “TerpThon” and Ohio State University with “Buckeyethon.”

With a show of about 200 students and supporters last year, “OWLthon” coordinators are hoping for an even larger turnout. “This year we’re hoping for 500 students to come out — a significant increase. Last year we raised $6,000 and this year our goal is $100,000,” said “OWLthon” Entertainment Overall Chair Alexis Hayden.

Every hour of the event will have a different theme along with entertainment ranging from DJs to magicians. Sneak previews of the themes will be released a week before the event via social media. Arts and crafts along with food will also be provided.

Max Jackson | Photo Editor
Max Jackson | Photo Editor

The hope is that everyone who shows up will dress up and be interactive. “You’re gonna want to get costumes. I love to embrace the goofiness of Dance Marathon. We’re all there for one reason; we’re all there for these kids. And to make it fun for them, I think we need to put our best foot forward, put our pride aside and stop being the ‘cool kids’ and start being those people that wear tutus and wear the cat costumes — just funny stuff,” said OWLthon Public Relations Overall Chair Rebecca Tracy.

“We know what we’re working for and we know that we’ve seen these kids in the hospital; we’ve seen their struggle… It’s just really an experience that kind of changes your perspective a lot. But it’s very uplifting because they’re sick kids that are having a rough time, but they make the most of everything,” she continued.

The proceeds will go directly to the UF Health Shand’s Children Hospital in Gainesville, Fla Some of the “miracle children” even come out to the event. “One of the girls, Marki [Lyon], she’s a miracle child herself — she’s a miracle survivor,” said Hayden. “She goes to FAU, so she was on the executive board last year, so she was able to come out as well.”

Hayden continued with, “For the kids. That’s kind of our mantra. FTK — for the kids. As much fun as it is and as much work we put into it, it’s all for their benefit and we do get a lot back from it — it’s very rewarding; however, it’s to help them and to put a smile on their face. It’s all for the kids.”

For more information on “OWLthon” and how to get involved, check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.