The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Dance Marathon to take a virtual stand raising money, hope and community “For the Kids”

13-hour virtual fundraising event to take place this Saturday, Feb. 27
Vanderbilt University Dance Marathon 2020 at the Recreation and Wellness Center (Hustler Multimedia/Mattigan Kelly)

Characterized by colorful outfits, upbeat dance tunes and 13.1 hours of nonstop energy, Vanderbilt University Dance Marathon (VUDM)’s Big Event is an iconic annual fundraiser that has raised more than $3 million for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital over the years, per their press release. This year, the Big Event will take place Saturday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., with a dedicated Vanderbilt hour 9-10 p.m. While some participants may choose to stay for the whole 13 hours, students are encouraged to at least stop by for as long as they can to learn more about VUDM’s mission.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered in-person festivities, VUDM carries the same infectious enthusiasm into its virtual fundraiser, Marathon of Marathons. Teaming up with 11 other Middle Tennessee colleges and high schools for this year’s event, VUDM seeks to unite a broader audience in celebration of this year’s theme, “Better Together.” 

“‘Better Together’ is our theme this year because we wanted to acknowledge the power of community and inclusivity,” VUDM President Emily Alpin said in a Feb. 22 email to The Hustler. “As a philanthropic organization, we raise money for the Children’s Hospital one dollar and one participant at a time. We want to celebrate every single member of our VUDM family, because none of this would be possible without them.”

Behind all the fanfare and excitement is a year of dedicated fundraising on behalf of the Miracle Kids, children battling serious medical conditions at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital. As part of Vanderbilt’s largest student-run philanthropic organization, VUDM members unite under their mission-bearing slogan, “For The Kids.” According to their press release, their dedication has paid off as VUDM has helped fund several critical hospital programs, including cancer research and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) fellowships. 

“Our Marathon of Marathons will be a big celebration, and we want as many people as possible to be a part of that,” Alpin said. “This year, as everybody knows, has come with its own unique obstacles and hurdles. We are thrilled to celebrate the efforts of our VUDM family and to celebrate our Miracle Kids and Families. While a virtual event wasn’t what we were hoping for, we’re so excited to work with other schools in Middle Tennessee to put on such a special event.”

As emphasized by Alphin, spotlighting the Miracle Kids is the integral focus of the event, and focusing on that fact is what drives her and the VUDM team to push the event to its maximum potential.

“I am most excited for everybody to hear from our Miracle Kids,” Alpin said. “It’s been a hard year being so far away from them, and it can be challenging to remember what this is all about when we don’t get those interactions with the kids. They never fail to put a smile on my face, which I think is something we could all use these days.”

 Students can RSVP on Facebook or tune in live on Twitch

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About the Contributor
Heream Yang, Former Staff Writer
Heream Yang ('21) majored in human and organizational development in Peabody College. She can be reached at [email protected]
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