AMES, Iowa -- Volunteers danced their way into raising $171,955.41 to benefit sick and injured children and their families during the 11th annual Iowa State University Dance Marathon back in January. The money went to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital in Iowa City. And the student organizers won a national award for their efforts.
They won the 2009 Best Closing Ceremony Award from Children's Miracle Network -- a non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals nationwide -- this summer at the Dance Marathon Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.
"We here at UI Children's Hospital are grateful to have ISU Dance Marathon as part of our family," wrote Dr. Michael Artman, physician-in-chief of University of Iowa Children's Hospital in a letter to ISU President Gregory Geoffroy. "Your group did an amazing job and clearly impressed the Children's Miracle Network national staff members."
During the closing ceremony, committee members and the executive board of Dance Marathon thanked the dancers. One of the Miracle Network children and current ISU student, Kaleb Stebens, took the stage to sing "You Raise Me Up." He was joined by the hundreds of dancers. Then, several other children took the stage with umbrellas. One by one, they opened their umbrellas to reveal the total amount raised by the dancers.
More than 500 Iowa State students participated in the 2009 ISU Dance marathon, including more than 120 committee members.
The 12th annual ISU Dance Marathon will take place on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010.