Photo Courtesy of Dance Marathon

Photo Courtesy of Dance Marathon

Dance Marathon, a 12-hour-long fundraising dance event featuring food, entertainment, DJs, bands and other UCSB performing groups will be held this Saturday in the Pavilion Gym.

Hosted by the Dance Marathon campus organization, event participants will stand on their feet and dance for 12 hours, from noon to midnight, to raise money for Cottage Children’s Hospital in Santa Barbara. Any individual can register and participate, and at the first Dance Marathon event held last year, hundreds of dancers participated and raised around $13,000 for Cottage Children’s Hospital.

Fourth-year biological science major and co-chair of Dance Marathon Molly Morrison said there are over 250 college campuses that put on dance marathons, making Dance Marathon the largest collegiate philanthropy effort in the nation.

“I helped found dance marathon, but our first event wasn’t until last March 1,” Morrison said in an email. “This year, we have 600 students registered to go to the event, and our goal is $25,000.”

According to Morrison, the event raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, specifically the Cottage Children’s Hospital in downtown Santa Barbara, which, according to Morrison, is an essential part of healthcare on the central coast.

“Cottage Children’s Hospital is the only hospital with a level 2 neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric intensive care unit in central California, making this hospital a vital one for many families in the state,” Morrison said in an email.

At the Dance Marathon event, food will be provided and participants will be split into teams, each representing a different patient from the Cottage Children’s Hospital.

“The food is catered, entertainment is provided, including student DJs, a cappella groups, and dance groups from the UCSB campus,” Morrison said. “In addition, dancers are split into color teams, with a child ambassador from Cottage Children’s Hospital on their team. It’s a great way for UCSB students to make a tangible difference in their community during their time here, and to see exactly where the money they raised is going.”

According to Morrison, Dance Marathon aims to expand even more in the coming years.

“We are very excited to see our growth from last year to this year, and to see how dance marathon can grow on this campus, and perhaps one day be the philanthropy by what UCSB is known for!” Morrison said.

First-year mechanical engineering major Claire Meyer said she just joined Dance Marathon this year and that the group has been preparing for the event for the past few months.

“We’ve been working for months with fundraising,” Meyer said, “I can’t wait to meet the kids and families that we are fundraising for. My brother did a dance marathon at Ohio State and he said it was one of the most awesome experiences of his college career.”