Special Feature: Dance Marathon 2011

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Dance Marathon raises more than $1,000,000

Record-breaking event benefits the Children's Heart Foundation and Evanston Community Foundation

March 6, 2011 | by Matt Paolelli
Video produced by Matt Paolelli

Dancefloor Tweets
Relive the DM 2011 experience in 140 characters or less.

DM 2011 in Photos
From dancers & deejays to foot massages & giant checks, see the moments that defined DM.

Northwestern's 37th annual Dance Marathon fundraiser was one for the record books.

More than 900 students--a new high--danced for 30 hours and netted a record $1,019,130 in total gifts and in-kind donations. This is the first time the event has raised more than one million dollars.

This year's primary beneficiary, the Children’s Heart Foundation, received $632,689.20. The Evanston Community Foundation, the secondary beneficiary, received a check for $70,298.

The Children's Heart Foundation, a Lincolnshire-based organization that raises money and awareness for children with congenital heart defects, was also Dance Marathon's primary beneficiary in 1999.

For the 14th consecutive year, the Evanston Community Foundation received 10 percent of the marathon’s net donations. ECF builds, connects and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the public good.

Due to worsening weather conditions early Saturday morning and again on Saturday afternoon, dancers were given extended break time while NUDM organizers took precautionary measures to ensure the continued safety of attendees. While the dancers were never in danger due to the ability of the tent to withstand winds at that level, event organizers wanted to take every possible precaution given the severity of the winds.

The first extended break occurred between blocks 3 and 4 at 4 a.m., and the second occurred between blocks 6 and 7, at 1 p.m. Once organizers consulted with professionals and reaffirmed that the tent was still a secure venue for NUDM, dancers rushed back to the dance floor with renewed enthusiasm. The severe winds calmed down, and the remainder of the event proceeded with no further delays.

Following the second extended break, dancers were greeted by Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro, Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald and the Northwestern University Football Team. The surprise quickly heightened the energy in the tent, and the support from President Schapiro and Coach Fitzgerald served as a reminder to the dancers of their impact on the beneficiaries and on the University itself.

“The endless energy from the dance floor every hour this past weekend was truly inspirational," said Executive co-chair Catrina Miksis, a McCormick senior. "I hope that every single participant appreciates what a significant impact the funds they have worked so tirelessly to raise will have.”

Topics: Campus Life