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What exactly is a Dance Marathon? Simply put: participants get together and dance for a chosen amount of time that can be from 8 hours to 40 hours. They collect pledges in exchange for their participation in the event.
During these fun events, participants often meet patient families being treated at their local hospital, participate in games, enjoy entertainment and reveal their annual fundraising totals. But most of all, they dance and celebrate the comradery that results in coming together for a great cause. Many participants dance in honor of those who may not be able to.
Locally, this type of fundraiser has really taken off. In less than five years, TCU Dance Marathon has become the fastest-growing dance marathon program in Texas.
This growth is partially thanks to Lexie Perez. Perez, a recent and founding member of TCU Dance Marathon, recognized that the campus didn't have an organization that supported Cook Children's at the time and she wanted to change that.
Since 1991, high school and college students have been dancing across the country to raise more than $150 million for Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals through official Dance Marathon events. Locally, college students at University of North Texas, Tarleton State University and Texas Christian University (TCU) have chosen to use their dance moves to raise money for Cook Children's Medical Center.
In addition to the technology, it was the spacious, individual rooms with beds, couches and a privacy curtain that appealed to Mikal and Chris.
Perez felt inclined to pursue the fundraiser because TCU and Cook Children's share a special connection as pillars in the Fort Worth community. Perez said it was gratifying to learn one of their Dance Marathon members was a patient at Cook Children's at the time, and her involvement helped motivate and inspire others at the event.
Perez appreciates the fact that the donations raised at Dance Marathon support Cook Children's greatest need, an area that is often overlooked in the light of specific gifts.
"They need funds every day to keep the hospital running," said Perez. "Whether it be a stuffed animal for a child or making sure a family gets to eat while their child is in the hospital, that's just as important as having a facility built."
Your generosity does not go unnoticed by others. It is emulated by those who realize its value to the community. It is revered by those who care for our patients because it enables them to do what they do best. And it is appreciated by every patient and every family who benefits from it.
Thank you from each family, patient, nurse, physician and staff member whose life you will have touched with your generosity.