Dance Marathon provides philanthropic opportunities for students

YIR CSIL DM3

It was another record-breaking year for the University of Iowa Dance Marathon (UIDM) which aims to support to pediatric cancer patients and their families at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. UIDM is housed in the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, and involves over 2000 students, making it the largest student organization at Iowa. This year UIDM on-boarded an additional full-time staff member to assist with the astonishing growth of the group, pledged $2 million to establish the University of Iowa Dance Marathon Chair in Pediatric Oncology, Clinical, and Translational Research, collaborated with campus partners to promote sustainability, created new leadership roles to promote inclusivity and partnerships across campus, and had another exceptional final Big Event which raised $3,011,015.24.

Brock Cavett began his role this year as a UIDM advisor, after previously serving in a student leadership role. The executive leadership team was inspired and motivated with the addition to staff. DM 24 Executive Director Alex Linden says, “What people choose to do with the passion to serve the children and families is varied, and we were so fortunate to have Brock share the passion he found as a former student in Dance Marathon to help us become better student leaders at Iowa. From day one, Brock dedicated his time to improving the many aspects of the organization and challenging us as students. Without his commitment to student development and the kids, the successes of Dance Marathon 24 could not have been achieved. Dance Marathon is so lucky to have him back.” Like Cavett, many students become actively involved as alumni, continuing to fundraise and support the University from all over the world. Through continuous leadership training, professional development workshops, and support for fundraising, UIDM students gain a unique leadership experience and continue to support the mission of the organization.

UIDM provides an opportunity for students to give back to an incredible cause, and learn what it means to fundraise, become a philanthropist, and connect to the university on a deeper level. UIDM allocates their fundraised dollars and during DM 24, the allocations committee pledged to establish the University of Iowa Dance Marathon Chair in Pediatric Oncology, Clinical, and Translational Research. UIDM advisor Tracey Pritchard shared her excitement UIDM has around the new position, “The funding of this Chair is an incredibly exciting opportunity for many reasons. It is the first student-funded chair position, allowing students to have a fundamental say in where research is headed. Additionally and most importantly, it means there will be new ways of providing care and support to our families battling pediatric cancer. I am honestly so humbled and proud to play a small role in these students’ lives as they make positive changes at the University of Iowa and within pediatric medicine, research, and care.” Learn more about the new position here.

As the largest student organization at Iowa, UIDM proudly supports 310 students in leadership roles who are actively involved in the year-long planning of UIDM. The goal for student leadership in DM 24 was to put an emphasis on sustainability and inclusion. Linden said UIDM advisor Tracey Pritchard helped the leadership team explore and collaborate with other departments campus-wide to assist UIDM with this goal. “In fact, she worked closely with myself to create two new positions: campus relations and outreach director[s]. This change was her brainchild to address the areas in which UIDM needed to grow: promoting inclusivity of all students and creating sustainable partnerships with our community. Because of this, she opened a door to the next step of our program.”

"What these students are able to achieve every day continues to astound me. I am lucky to have returned to an organization that is making such a lasting impact right here on our own campus and changing the lives of so many across the state."

Another successful year ended with the final tote board reveal at the 24-hour Big Event. DM 24’s reveal was a record-breaking $3,011,015.24 which makes the total amount raised over the last 24 years an astounding $24,548,224.34. Watch the short summary clip of the 24-hours here. With another successful year in the books, Cavett says, “DM 24 was a monumental year filled with exciting accomplishments and new traditions! What these students are able to achieve every day continues to astound me. I am lucky to have returned to an organization that is making such a lasting impact right here on our own campus and changing the lives of so many across the state.”

2018 Year In Review

This article is part of the 2018 Year in Review, which highlights some of the Division of Student Life's accomplishments from the previous academic year.

Go to Year in Review