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Mattoon student takes part in dance marathon to raise money for children's hospital

Mattoon student takes part in dance marathon to raise money for children's hospital

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Katherine Shamdin of Mattoon was one of more than 2,800 current University of Iowa students who participated in the 26th annual student-led Dance Marathon which raised more than $2.8 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

The exact amount raised by Dance Marathon participants over the past year and announced at the student organization's annual "Big Event" was $2,879,755.26, a total which pushed the amount of support generated by Dance Marathon over the course of its history to more than $30 million.

Dance Marathon's "Big Event" is the celebration of UI students' year-round dedication to the children and families who have received treatment at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. Dancers and Dance Marathon leadership fundraise for 365 days to reach their individual fundraising goal.

Together, dancers (UI students), Dance Marathon leadership members, and volunteers remained standing from 7 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 7) to 7 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 8) to symbolize their support for the fight against pediatric cancer.

Dance Marathon works to create special projects to provide emotional and financial support to families treated at the UI Stead Family Children's Hospital with an emphasis on pediatric cancer and bone marrow transplant patients. It committed $5 million of support to the construction of the UI Stead Family Children's Hospital where the 11th floor is named the University of Iowa Pediatric Oncology Unit.

In addition, Dance Marathon pledged $2.2 million to fund a Child Life Specialist Position to ensure patients are provided the emotional support they need.

Dance Marathon is the UI's largest student organization. It has raised more than $30 million since its first event in 1995. In addition to raising money, the event celebrates the lives of survivors and recognizes those lost.

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