Iowa State University Dance Marathon commits $1 million to UI Children’s Hospital

Dance Marathon

Photo courtesy of ISU Dance Marathon.

AMES, Iowa -- A gift commitment in the amount of $1 million will benefit the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital building campaign. The gift from ISU Dance Marathon will support efforts to build the new 14-story, 195-bed children’s hospital — Iowa’s only comprehensive children’s hospital and academic medical center.

The hospital is a statewide resource that serves patients in all of Iowa’s 99 counties. The needs of Iowa’s youngest patients have outgrown the capacities of the UI’s hospital, and services are currently spread throughout the larger UI Hospitals and Clinics complex.

“We fundraise for UI Children's Hospital because we want to be able to help children from all around the state,” says Lisa Gestrine, an ISU graduate student and general co-director of ISU Dance Marathon. “This is my fifth year with ISU's Dance Marathon. I do it because of the families. And I see the benefits they get and their gratitude for what we're doing. That keeps me wanting to come back and be involved. It's just because of the kids. They inspire me as much as I think we inspire them.”

Over the past 15 years, ISU Dance Marathon has generated more than $2 million in support for UI Children’s Hospital. Support has been directed to many critical programs at UI Children’s Hospital, including patient and library materials, pediatric specialty clinic equipment and enhancements, and various patient amenities. All of the money raised by the yearly ISU Dance Marathon is given directly to UI Children’s Hospital through the University of Iowa Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network.

“Of course, we jumped on the opportunity to be one of the Dance Marathons to pledge a donation to the new hospital. We want to make our mark on it,” says David Arends, an ISU student and general co-director of ISU Dance Marathon.

In recognition of the gift, a playroom inside the new UI Children’s Hospital will be named in honor of ISU Dance Marathon.