Ibuprofen, IcyHot and mounds of carbs kept more than 900 University of Kentucky students vertical for 24 hours straight as part of the 12 year anniversary of DanceBlue.
DanceBlue — the largest student-run philanthropy at the university that requires year-long planning involving thousands of students — raised $1.78 million this year for cancer research and treatment. In 2016, that amount was $1.63 million.
DanceBlue has consistently broken its fundraising record year after year, according to a graph on the organization’s website. With this year's total, DanceBlue has contributed more than $11.6 million to the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic, the university said in a news release.
This year’s marathon had more than 100 teams participating, a new record, said DanceBlue adviser Jillian Pyatte. One of those teams included the UK fraternity Delta Sigma Phi, which had 10 students participating. The fraternity has raised more than $7,000 for DanceBlue, said team captain Brandon Hamm.
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The total number of dancers each year as remained steady at around 954 due to fire code limitations, said UK senior Kaylee Hobbs, 22, who has been involved with DanceBlue for five years in various capacities. Hobbs first participated as a dancer and now is the public relations chair who managed seven coordinators.
The DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic opened on Jan. 9, and it more than doubled patient care space. All money raised by DanceBlue goes to a fund that benefits the clinic and cancer research.
The opening of the clinic was one of the highlights of Hobbs’ DanceBlue experience.
“That was a dream of DanceBlue even since the beginning,” Hobbs said.
DanceBlue has been an active organization since 2006. In 2016, more than 120 student organizations and more than 800 dancers helped raise money to support the cause of pediatric cancer care.