Last weekend's 12th annual Dance Marathon in Ackerman Grand Ballroom raised $475,422 to benefit pediatric AIDS.
Over 900 dancers — even one in crutches — received pledges if they could stay on their feet for 26 hours, taking only meal and bathroom breaks. The student-produced event includes choreographed theme songs and costume changes to break up the 26 hours – one for every mile in a marathon.
This was the largest event in the marathon’s history, with over 3,000 participants – dancers, morale-boosters and volunteers. A staff of EMTs stood by, but only one case of fainting was reported.
Since its inception, the UCLA Dance Marathon has raised roughly $3.5 million. It is the largest student fundraising event at UCLA and the largest Dance Marathon benefiting pediatric HIV/AIDS in the country.
Organizers said that 100 percent of the funds raised will be split between three organizations: the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Project Kindle, a Santa Clarita camp for children infected or affected by HIV; and the UCLA AIDS Institute. The student-run Pediatric AIDS Coalition at UCLA, which organizes the event, finds sponsors and grants to cover event costs.