Dance marathon to celebrate fundraising with Big Event


Dance Marathon’s Big Event raised more than $380,000 Jan. 26, 2019. Courtesy of Iowa State Dance Marathon.

The Iowa State Dance Marathon team will be hosting their main event of the year in the Memorial Union from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. This event will be a celebration of the organization’s efforts and fundraising since January 2022.

The Dance Marathon’s ‘Big Event’ serves a dual purpose as a last effort to raise money for the previous year and to garner more support. It is also a celebration to provide a fun outing for the children and families the organization supports.

The event itself will host a collection of different activities from hypnotists to magicians, inflatables, karaoke, silent disco, caricatures, food, stories from families and more.

“It’s really just, I’d say, like, a party all day,” said Grace Fangman, the group’s executive director.

To participate in Iowa State’s Dance Marathon’s Big Event, students can text “ISUDM23” to 51555, or simply arrive at the event on Saturday and check in with a Miracle Maker.

The $35 activity fee for the Big Event is the only revenue the organization makes. The fee, which allows entry into the event, helps support the organization. 100% of their fundraising goes to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

The Iowa State Dance Marathon organization, despite its name, has very little dancing involved. Instead, the organization turns its primary focus to fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

In the last 28 years, Iowa State Dance Marathon has raised over $5.3 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Dance Marathon has fully funded the Stead hemodynamics program which helps with blood-related operations and conditions. This $750,000 pledge helped patients in the NICU and PICU units of the hospital, which is the organization’s main focus.

Miracle Makers, the organization’s term for its members, are tasked with collaborating with executive members and other members to fundraise $100 worth of donations by working concession stands at Hilton, going canning in the community and participating in sponsored events.

Besides fundraising for the hospital itself, the 400 members of the Iowa State Dance Marathon team actively communicate and work with families. Any family child that has been treated at the Stead Family Children’s Hospital is eligible to become part of the program.

“One of our kiddos was at the hospital from the day he was born for a year and a half without ever leaving,” Fangman said. “He went outside a couple of times during that time, but it can be very long and strenuous on them.”

Currently, Iowa State’s Dance Marathon cares for 37 families from the hospital. Miracle Makers from the organization frequently send the children and their families care packages and participate in family outings to the Blank Park Zoo, pumpkin patches and other events.

“So just, those little get well cards or thinking of you cards or something like that,” Fangman said. “And then on top of that supporting the families, letting them know that they do have a ton of college students that are here supporting them.”

Additional information on Dance Marathon and their Big Event can be found on the organization’s Instagram page and website.