DMUM Busts A Move For the Kids
If you live in Ann Arbor or are a University of Michigan student (or alum) you’ve probably heard of DMUM: Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan. The organization will celebrate its 17th Dance Marathon this Saturday, March 14th, culminating months of event ticket sales, alumni donations, benefit dinners and bar nights, online donations, bucket and letter writing, and other fundraising initiatives benefiting pediatric rehabilitation therapies at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor and Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak.
Dance Marathon is a movement involving over 250 colleges and high schools across the U.S. to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in their communities. All events are entirely student run and donate all funds go directly to the cause.
In 1991, the first Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Dance Marathon was held in Indiana and their mission statement was, “We dance for those who can’t.” 24 years later, the initiative is still holding strong. In 2014 alone, college dance marathons across the country raised more than $8 million.
Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan is Michigan’s largest student-run non-profit organization. Teams of 15-20 college students fundraise for the therapies over the course of the school year and get to bond with affected children along the way. At the end of the school year, hundreds of students, parents and supporters celebrate the year’s work and stand for 24 hours in the annual dance marathon. Students “step into the shoes of the kids” by interacting and dancing with them, and celebrate a full day of entertainment and other activities. Though dancing is not required for all 30 hours, it is encouraged to keep spirits high.
“The Marathon itself is challenging, but you remember that you’re there for a reason and that makes the aching feet and the fatigue bearable,” said Shannon Pawloski, current U of M graduate student and former DMUM participant.
Each year, student teams compete to fundraise incredible amounts for the kids, all seeking to earn more than the previous year. In 2014, over 1,000 dancers participated in DMUM and the organization raised nearly $450,000 marking a more than $5 million in all time total funds earned “for the kids”.
“DMUM was one of the best things I did in college,” added Pawloski. “Through it all, I was put outside of my comfort zone, befriending children with lives so different from my own, and I developed a new perspective.”
More information about donating to the cause or engaging in the day’s activities can be found at DMUM’s website. If you’d like to connect with the group on social media, use the hashtags #DMUM15, #DMUM or #FTK (For The Kids).
Photo credit: Josephers
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