Dance Marathon breaks the $1 million mark

Kevin Griffin leads a dance practice at Dance Marathon 2013 in the O'Connell Center on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville on Saturday.

Ashley Crane/Correspondent
Published: Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 5:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 5:44 p.m.

At 2 p.m., the 800 dancers packed into the Stephen O’Connell Center could finally relax.

The 19th annual Dance Marathon at the University of Florida had come to an end after 26.2 hours — and having raised a record amount of donations: $1,169,722.

“I’m still in shock, honestly,” said Nicole Martinez, spokesperson for Dance Marathon at UF. Last year, the event raised about $886,000 for the patients of Shands Hospital for Children at UF, part of the Children’s Miracle Network.

Dancers went from 11:48 a.m. Saturday to 2 p.m. Sunday without rest. People gave donations at the front entrance, and bought items from the silent auction at the corner of the dance floor.

Representatives of the sponsors and partners of the marathon were locked up in a mock jail, and the crowd had to donate a minimum of $250 for each person to be released. Donations are also being collected at

The Children’s Miracle Network will use about half the money for new medical equipment and games and activities for the children, while the other half goes to research, Martinez said.

Although the Dance Marathon at the University of Florida doesn’t set goals, Martinez said she hopes next year will be even better.

“We just want to raise as much as we possibly can,” she said. Even raising one more dollar than the previous year would be a success, she said.

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