FAU hosts second annual Dance Marathon for charity


Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer

Marcia Lawrence, Contributing Writer

Correction: In a previous version of this article, we wrote that OWLTHON 2015 raised $50,000 by standing during the 13.1 hour-long event. OWLTHON actually raised $66,137.15 with year-long fundraising.

In the article, it was also stated that student Ashley Ackerman served as OWLTHON’s “dancer relations.” Ackerman’s official title is Dancer Relations Overall Chair. Also, Izabella Niera, the “Miracle child” present at the event, was treated at Shands Hospital for Children in Gainesville, Fla. Also, Children’s Miracle Network was inaccurately referred to as “Miracle Network.”

Lastly, it was inferred that Greek life was the only group of students involved in OWLTHON and that “Delta Force” was the winner of OWLTHON. In fact, all types of students were welcome and present at the event, Alpha Delta Pi won OWLTHON and Operation Delta Storm won Greek Week.

At the second annual OWLTHON, held on March 21 in the Recreation Center, Florida Atlantic students stayed on their feet for 13.1 hours to help raise awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network.

From shaking their booties in dancing and competing in basketball tournaments to board games and beanbag toss, there were plenty of ways for participants to be active.

Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer
Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer

Last year, this event was held in the FAU Arena, but this year the event was moved to the Rec Center. FAU set a new goal for the second year of the event, hoping to raise $50,000 after raising just $6,000 last year.

Sophomore elementary education major Ashley Ackerman found out about this event last year and felt that it was a really good cause. Ackerman became Dancer Relations Overall Chair. “There’s multiple rooms, and it gives everyone an opportunity to have catering in one room and everything else in the other room,” she said.

Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer
Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer

Krystina Niera, whose daughter Izabella was helped by Shand’s Hospital for Children, a Children’s Miracle Network hospital in Gainesville, gave a speech showing how grateful she was to the participants and the to Children’s Miracle Network for their help.

“Doctors said they had no idea what she had, and that there was no cure for it. Shands Hospital contacted us [later] and said ‘we can save your daughter’s life,’” Neira said. “She was on the verge of dying every single day. The disease is now gone and out of her life and it’s all because of Shands. She just started walking last month. Shands is the first hospital that allowed us to be a family again.”

Different students in the crowd, like freshman broadcast journalism major Taylor Smith, teared up when Niera began to cry. “That was so sad, but it was such a great story! I teared up a little. It just makes standing for 13 hours even more worth it,” Smith said.

In the spirit of competition, students created groups and competed to see who could raise the most money. At the end of the night, Alpha Delta Pi was revealed to be the winner of OWLTHON. The winners of Greek Week — also announced during the event — was Operation Delta Storm.

In total, after year-long fundraising efforts, FAU’s OWLTHON raised a total of $66,137.15 — more than ten times what was raised last year.