At around 8 pm tonight, more than 300 students and thousands of spectators gathered around their screens at home to celebrate one of the University of Kentucky’s richest traditions. As with most events this year, DanceBlue had to adapt to a new virtual format for the 2021 marathon, but that didn’t stop them from dancing! With joyful hearts and weary feet, the dancers of the DanceBlue Marathon 2021 continued to honor the tireless pursuit of finding the cure for childhood cancer.
In its 16th year, DanceBlue is ecstatic to reveal its total fundraiser of $ 1,011,115.49. While this is an incredible amount, the students don’t focus on how big or small the total is. They instead focus on how money can be used to support the children and families battling childhood cancer at DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology / Oncology Clinic.
Meagan Wilkins, Marketing Chairman of DanceBlue, said: “The DanceBlue 2021 Dance Marathon was the first time in DanceBlue’s history that the marathon was virtual. It was also the first time we have ever streamed an event live and is now one of the biggest virtual events the University of Kentucky has ever set up, it literally made history.
“In this year of so many shutdowns, DanceBlue hasn’t stopped. That’s because cancer hasn’t stopped. The 2021 marathon is direct evidence of what can happen when a group of committed individuals unite for a common goal. For The Kids “I’m so proud that even a pandemic didn’t stop these students from working so hard for this cause all year round. It’s really amazing.”
DanceBlue is the UK’s largest student-led philanthropy – a year-long fundraiser involving thousands of UK students, culminating in a 24-hour dance marathon without sitting or sleeping. All the money that DanceBlue raises goes to the Golden Matrix Fund and cancer research. Since the organization’s launch in 2006, DanceBlue has raised more than $ 18,313,158.92. for the kids, providing financial and emotional support to children and families living with childhood cancer.
DanceBlue students volunteer hundreds of hours at the clinic every year. Since students were unable to visit the clinic in person this year, they got creative and found new ways to selflessly spend their time. They kept in touch with patients and their families through weekly virtual bingo, holiday parties and a pen pal program. And if you ask one of the students why, they will simply answer with that one sentence that embodies the DanceBlue mission: “For The Kids.”
DanceBlue is the University of Kentucky 24-hour, no seated, no dormant dance marathon benefiting the Golden Matrix Fund. DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital’s hematology / oncology clinic opened its brand new facility in 2017 after a full renovation funded solely by DanceBlue. For more information about DanceBlue, registration information or to support its efforts, visit www.danceblue.org. Connect with DanceBlue on Facebook at www.facebook.com/danceblue and Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKDanceBlue.
This press release is produced by the University of Kentucky. The views expressed here are those of the author.