Published September 2018
Written by Laura Henschel
Each year, students participating in Dance Marathon (DM) at the University of Florida dance for 26.2 hours to raise funds for the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. Innovation Academy joined the fun for the first time in Spring 2018, and along with 800 other dancers, UF raised over three million dollars “for the kids”.
Brittany Kinney represented IA, and our team was paired to dance for a boy with leukemia—our miracle child. “Nothing compares to being there on the floor and dancing, raising money, ringing the gong, spreading the word,” Brittany said. "We are the generation fighting for the next, and I'm proud to do that!”
IA student Rebecca Petty has also been involved in DM-- ever since her first year on campus, she independently volunteered with the organization. She became involved in the Emerging Leaders Program, their function being to support the Dancers. As an Emerging Leader, “I feel that I grew on a personal level in terms of motivation, commitment, and desire to give back to our campus and community,” Rebecca said.
Autumn Farmer became involved as an independent dancer her very first semester at UF as well, and her experience with the fundraiser was the best experience she had thus far as a Gator. “I am a completely different person from before I participated in DM. I have learned that the experiences throughout life are the most priceless things and that life is so short so every single moment matters,” Autumn said.
All three of the students leading IA in the fundraiser mentioned their commitment to increasing Innovation Academy’s involvement in the organization. At this point in the semester, they are rallying to recruit even more IA students to be a part of our fundraising team—to make an even bigger impact on children in need.
“I was the only dancer for the Innovation Academy team… next year, I want a whole crowd,” Brittany said. “I want tons of people there to dance with whoever our miracle family might be and fight alongside them...show they that they're not alone in this!”
If you are interested in participating in Dance Marathon 2019 and making a difference for children in need, donate now or join the Innovation Academy team here!