Dance Marathon raises slightly more than its $50,000 goal

2016 Dance Marathon participants. Photo by Dana Warren /

This year’s Dance Marathon fundraiser raised $52,047.16 for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, surpassing the initial goal of $50,000.

Throughout the planning stages of Dance Marathon, the executive board worked with the board’s previous members to determine how much money should be raised and draw upon past event experiences. Erin Kallsen, Dance Marathon co-president and junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said past Dance Marathon presidents helped out.

“(The past Dance Marathon presidents) passed it off to us, but they are still around in case we needed anything,” Kallsen said.

Eilish Mulvey, Dance Marathon co-president and junior in the College of Nursing, said preparation for the event starts in the fall semester.

“We have initial fundraisers because we are a fully student organization and all the money, through donations and fundraising from people who are involved, goes to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin,” Mulvey said.

Dance Marathon is also partnered with Children’s Miracle Network hospitals across the country to raise money for the Children’s Hospital that is partnered with the individual school’s Dance Marathon event.

“As an executive board we were each hoping to raise $500 individually, and there were many e-board members who went past that,” Mulvey said. “My relatives and my family were a huge support as well. With advertising and social media, we definitely stepped up our game in terms of reaching out to family and friends.”

However, raising money for a cause that others may be uninvolved with was still a challenge. Kallsen said it can be hard to convey her passion for the cause when others don’t reciprocate or understand her enthusiasm.

“Getting the students as pumped up and excited as we are is part of the challenge,” Kallsen said.

While the money goes toward Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for it to use at its discretion, Dance Marathon leaves an impact on Marquette students.

“Dance Marathon is a way for students to raise funds and awareness for an amazing cause, be the start, middle and end of a fundraising gig that touches their hearts and the hearts of all those whom they help,” said Zac Wierschem, Dance Marathon participant and sophomore in the College of Business Administration.