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Dance Marathon Proceeds Top $400,000

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March 8, 2005

Northwestern University’s student-run 31st Annual Dance Marathon net $404,328.40 during the 30-hour March 4-6 event that will benefit two organizations.

This year’s primary beneficiary, the Illinois chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation  (JDRF), the leading charitable fundraiser and advocate of Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes research worldwide, will receive $374,003.77.

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF), Dance Marathon’s secondary beneficiary for the eighth consecutive year, will receive 7.5 percent of the net total of dollars raised -- this year, $30,324.63 -- to help fund projects and programs proposed by local not-for-profit organizations serving Evanston. Dance Marathon has contributed more than $200,000 to ECF in the past eight years.

JDRF’s mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Founded in 1970 by parents of children with juvenile diabetes, JDRF has given more than $800 million to support research and research-related education.

The majority of the 500 dancers involved in the 2005 event were undergraduate students.

Northwestern seniors Melissa Borschnack and Elaine Kanak, were the executive co-chairs of Dance Marathon 2005.

Dance Marathon, one of the world’s largest collegiate philanthropies, has raised more than $6.5 million for various charities since it began in 1975.

Dance Marathon 2005 attracted thousands of visitors to Norris University Center to watch and cheer on the 500 dancers and participate in a variety of fund-raising activities that included a silent auction, art show, children’s fair, professional haircuts, massages and makeovers, a beer and wine garden, a hypnotist, a hip-hop show and performances for children.

Each dancing couple had to raise at least $750, typically done by “canning” for cash or by asking family and friends for donations. Thousands of other Northwestern student volunteers help to raise funds each year through annual “canning” and (or by attending special events such as a weekly Trivia Night, a date auction, Battle of the Bands, three-on-three basketball tournaments and pizza parties.

Money also was raised for the designated charities by mini Dance Marathons sponsored by Northwestern alumni clubs in Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. Los Angeles held a Purple and White Ball at a Bel-Air country club.

Dance Marathon held a fund-raiser at the Adler Planetarium that was attended by Chicago alumni, JDRF members and Northwestern community members. The event raised $12,000 for this year’s two charities.

Money also was raised by the sale of blue DanceStrong wristbands priced at $5 each. Other merchandise for sale included T-shirts, sweatbands and bottle-opener style key chains.

These and other fund-raising activities are open to the public each year.

Last year, Dance Marathon raised $320,000 for the primary beneficiary Have Dreams, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of autistic children and their families through training and structured teaching, and $26,000 for the Evanston Community Foundation, the secondary beneficiary.