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Dancers Burn Up the Floor

Dance Marathon runs March 4-6, supports Children’s Heart Foundation, Evanston Community Foundation

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March 2, 2011 | by Judy Moore
Watch highlights from the 2010 Dance Marathon event, which raised more than $850,000 for StandUp For Kids and the Evanston Community Foundation. Video produced by Matt Paolelli

EVANSTON, Ill. --- This weekend, more than 1,000 Northwestern University students will dance the night away to raise funds for the Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) and the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) as they participate in Dance Marathon 2011.

One of the largest student-run philanthropies in the world, the annual event has raised nearly $12 million for charity since its inception in 1975.

Dance Marathon -- which goes on for 30 hours -- will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, March 4 and continue through 1 a.m. Sunday, March 6, at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. The entire event will be streamed live online at nudm.org.

For a minimum $5 entrance fee, members of the general public are invited to visit the event during designated hours (see below). In past years, as many as 3,000 visitors have come to either watch Dance Marathon or participate in other fundraising weekend events taking place on the Evanston campus. In addition to being spectators, visitors are welcome to take part in the silent auction, 5K and 10K races or walks, a children’s fair, spa services and an evening concert.

March 4 to 6 Dance Marathon 2011 weekend public events at Norris University Center include:

Public visiting hours, 8 p.m. to midnight, Friday, March 4 and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Observe the dancers participating in Northwestern’s DM 2011 during these designated times for a $5 minimum entrance fee.

• Silent Auction, 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 4 and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 5, ground floor, Norris Center. Bid on prize items donated by local vendors, corporate sponsors and celebrities. To bid online visit http://nudm.org/corporate/auctions/.

Walk/Race, 7 a.m. (10K) and 8 a.m. (5K) Saturday, March 5. Walk or run along Northwestern’s designated lakefill race path. Check-in at the front lobby of Norris Center. Check-in for the 10K starts at 7 a.m. and the walk/race begins at 7:30 a.m. The 5K check-in is at 8 a.m. and the walk/race begins at 8:30 a.m. First-place prizes for men and women will be awarded. Registration fee is $35 (10K) or $25 (5K) on the day of the event or $10 less by registering early online at http://nudm.org/2011/02/10/2011-nudm-5k10k/.

• DM Kids Fair, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 5, Northwestern Room. The Kids Fair will feature craft and activity booths for children of all ages. Admission is $5 per family.

• Spa, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 5, Louis Room. Experience a variety of luxury spa services at discount prices. Services donated by local Evanston spas, salons and fitness centers include haircuts, manicures, eyebrow and lip waxing and fitness classes (11 a.m. and 2 p.m. yoga; 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Zumba; and 3 p.m. bellydancing). Prices vary per service. One fitness class is $5 and two classes are $7.

• DM Alumni and Faculty Block, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 5. For the second consecutive year, DM alumni and faculty can spend three hours dancing alongside student dancers. A $45 registration fee includes a DM T-shirt. Register now at www.nudm.org/alumni-faculty.

• A Capella Show, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5, Louis Room. Extreme Measures, Purple Haze, ShireNU, the Undertones and X-Factors are among the Northwestern student groups scheduled to perform. Tickets are $5 per person.

For more locations and times or to make a donation, visit www.nudm.org.

A twitter account at http://twitter.com/#!/NUDM will be updated frequently throughout the weekend for people who wish to follow the progress of the fundraising efforts.

Every year, the Dance Marathon committee selects a primary and a secondary beneficiary to receive proceeds less in-kind donations that are donated to the beneficiaries.

For the second time in Dance Marathon history, the Children’s Heart Foundation, a national organization that raises money and awareness for children with congenital heart defects, is the primary beneficiary. In 1999, Dance Marathon raised $450,833 for the Lincolnshire-based organization.

The Children’s Heart Foundation has created a special blog at http://nudm.org/beneficiaries/blog/ to allow the public to learn about some of the children who benefit from the organization’s services. A CHF twitter account is at http://twitter.com/thechf.

For the 14th consecutive year, the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) will receive 10 percent of the marathon’s net donations. ECF builds, connects and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the public good. For more information, visit the ECF blog at http://nudm.org/beneficiaries/ecf-blog/.

“We hope that the funds we raise are able to make a significant impact on both organizations,” said McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science senior Catrina Miksis, DM executive co-chair with Julie Sher, a School of Communication senior. “The funds raised for the Evanston Community Foundation will go directly to organizations working to better the community Northwestern students call home.”

Last year, more than 1,400 dancers and committee members raised $854,396 in cash and in-kind donations. The student group’s executive co-chairs presented a check for $461,546 to StandUp for Kids, a national organization working with homeless and “at-risk” youth. The Evanston Community Foundation received a check for $51,282.

For more on Dance Marathon 2011, visit http://www.nudm.org.

Topics: Campus Life