February 23, 2011
The University of Virginia's Dance Marathon, or "DM", is on a mission. For 14 years, students have been dancing to the beat of tens of thousands of dollars; all to help local children.
"We're an organization that raises money for CMN (Children's Miracle Network), more specifically for the Children's Hospital at UVa", says Meredith Loretta, the Dance Marathon's Overall Chair. "So all the money raised throughout the year through special events on the corner, around UVa, and in the community goes to the hospital."
And the money raised for the Children's Miracle Network stays local.
"It means the world to us, it means the world to our children," says Dr. Kimberly Dunsmore, head of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at UVa. "In my division we treat children here in our community that have all forms of pediatric cancers, blood disorders such as sickle cell, bleeding disorders such as hemophilia; and we use the money to help us fund clinical trials so we can offer state-of-the-art clinical trials to children in our community."
The whole community is invited to take part; a year of fundraising culminates with a dance marathon Saturday, Feb. 25 at UVa's Memorial Gymnasium on Emmet Street.
"Every couple hours we'll have food. We have bands, dance instructors, three different DJ's, a mechanical bull, bounce house for the kids, carnival games," explains Loretta. Eight dollars gets you into the event, and it's all FTK: For the Kids.
"Children are the people in our community that need the most from us," says Dr. Dunsmore. "It's such an honor to be able to work with them. And they give back more to us than we could ever give to them. "
If you'd like to join in the family friendly entertainment, head to the dance marathon from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mem Gym. Tickets are $8 to get a wrist band for the event and you can come and go as you please. Then, the fun moves to Boylan Heights on UVa's Corner. Admission to that fundraiser is $5.
You can also donate $5 by texting "DMATUVA" to 27722 and visit their website.
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