Yearlong Dance Marathon efforts raise more than $450,000

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The 21st annual student-led Dance Marathon raised a record total of $452,251, including about $50,000 from this weekend’s ZiggyThon and $151,712 from Bike for Tikes. These philanthropic efforts benefit Mercy Children’s Hospital, which is part of the Children’s Miracle Network. This brings the 21-year total of donations to $4.1 million.

More than 400 dancers participated in the 24-hour dance event in the Perry Field House, while 155 cyclists set out to bike 180 miles – Cincinnati to Bowling Green – in three days.

This is the 16th year for Bike for Tikes, the only collegiate-level philanthropic ride of its kind. Riders completed just over 130 miles of the ride, stopping because of bad weather, which included wind, snow, ice and hail.

“The Bike for Tikes cyclists are an amazing group of students,” said University Photography Director Craig Bell, who, along with Andy Carpenter, serves as a staff adviser for the event. “They organize the entire B4T ride, trek 60 miles a day for three days and sleep in gymnasiums of local schools along the way.

“This year, they fought through sore legs, freezing weather, 50 mph winds, hail and snow, and they never once complained. Through the entire ride, the students provide motivation and support for each other to persevere and complete each mile as they shout, ‘For the kids.’ I’m humbled by their success, as well as the dancers success, and all of the students caring philanthropy toward the kids at Mercy Children’s Hospital and couldn’t be more proud to share in the experience with each and every rider.”

Dance Marathon Director Austin Flores said this year's total increased more than $111,000 from last year. Money from Dance Marathon is donated to Mercy and goes toward family services, equipment and Mercy’s autism center in Maumee.