Southeast Students to Dance to Save Children

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Jan. 12, 2009 – Southeast Missouri State University students will dance the day away on Feb. 28 for a good cause. Students will participate in Southeast’sthird annual Dance Marathon, an event designed to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network, withfunds directed to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Miracle Center in St. Louis.

The Dance Marathon is an event that takes place on college campuses across the nation, according to Mallory Simmons, chair of the 2009 Southeast Dance Marathon.

“The event raises huge sums of money for children’s research hospitals,” said Sarah Snyder, 2008 Southeast Dance Marathon chair.  “Indiana University, for instance, raised morethan $920,000 during its recent Dance Marathon, and Penn State, where the event originated 35years ago, raised an astonishing $4.2 million.”

Southeast has set a goal of $25,000 this year. Those participating in the marathon find sponsors who donate dollars based on completion of the marathon. Each dancer’s goal is $100.Dancers who raise $225 or more will have the opportunity to enjoy the Dancer IncentiveRoom for 20 minutes, at a time of their choosing throughout the day.  In this room, dancers can sit down and relax.  They can also eat snacks, play video games, and receive free massages.

Participants dance or must remain standing throughout the 12-hour marathon, except for meals and bathroom breaks. The dancers stand in support of those who cannot, according toSimmons.

“Some of the Children’s Miracle Network patients have diseases that prevent them from ever standing, so dancers stand out of respect and in support of those kids,” she said.

While standing, dancers participate in a number of activities and interact with children assisted through the Children’s Miracle Network.

Once at the marathon, dancers will enjoy a free T-shirt, free food, competitions, karaoke,games, learning the hourly morale dance, and winning free prizes.

“The most memorable part of the marathon will be the interaction between dancers and children from the hospitals whose families attend the event. The dancers will spend time playing games and doing other activities with the children, and each patient’s family will have the opportunity to take the stage and share their story. The dancers will benefit from really getting to know the children they are helping,” Snyder said.

According to their Web site, Children’s Miracle Network hospitals provide $2.5 billion in charity care each year, treat 98 percent of children needing heart or lung transplants, and 88 percent of those with cancer.

“Children’s Miracle Network hospitals never turn anyone away even if they cannot afford medical care,” Simmons said. “Therefore, it is important for events like Dance Marathon tocontribute so the hospitals can help every patient. Even though the two hospitals receiving money from our marathon are in St. Louis, they help children from all over Missouri and Illinois.”

Those wishing to make a cash or check donation to Southeast Dance Marathon may submit a check payable to Children’s Miracle Network and mail to:  Student Government Southeast Dance Marathon, One University Plaza MS 1800, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.

Southeast’s Dance Marathon, which is sponsored by Student Government, will be held Feb. 28 from noon until midnight in the Student Recreation Center North. While participation in the marathon is limited to Southeast students, faculty and staff, the public is encouraged to attend the event and show the dancers their support.