Ryan Robey / For The Lantern
BuckeyeThon is big on beating records, and this year’s event raised $150,000 more than last year’s.
The 12th annual dance marathon, which took place Friday and Saturday in the Ohio Union, raised $608,623.29 this year for the Hematology/Oncology floor at Nationwide Children’s Hospital – an increase of more than $150,000 from last year’s record total.
Kiersten McCartney, vice president of operations for BuckeyeThon and a fourth-year in biology, said the event also broke a record with more than 3,600 students registered for the event. McCartney said in terms of participation, this year’s event was one of the largest dance marathons in the history of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, an organization that serves roughly 170 children’s hospitals across the country.
This year’s BuckeyeThon was split into two shifts to accommodate the growing amount of students wanting to participate. McCartney said there was also an increase in the number of child patients at the event, with more families from Nationwide Children’s Hospital participating this year than in any past BuckeyeThon.
Throughout the event, a variety of other activities were offered for dancers and children, including face painting, a life-sized board game and an “inspiration room,” where people could see photos and stories of the children participating in BuckeyeThon.
Dr. Keri Streby, a hematology/oncology fellow at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, works with the children on the Hematology/Oncology floor. She said the hospital is thankful for the financial contributions made by BuckeyeThon.
“No matter how much we try with all of the different supports that we have, BuckeyeThon just helps fill a lot of those voids in financial areas,” Streby said.
While the amount of money raised was a record for BuckeyeThon, some students think Ohio State still has room for improvement, particularly among dance marathons at other Big Ten universities.
“It’s amazing how much we raised, but at the same time we don’t compete (with) Penn State at all, so hopefully we can get to that level because there’s so much more we can do still,” said Nicole Kolodka, a second-year in human development and family science who danced in the event’s first shift.
Penn State’s two-day dance marathon, THON, is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, raising $10.68 million in 2012 alone.
Suraj Hinduja, president of BuckeyeThon and a third-year in special education, said he was happy with the total fundraising amount, which was more than the initial goal of $550,000.
However, he said the event is about more than just a number.
“To me, it’s about a university coming together,” Hinduja said. “It’s students realizing that they have the capacity to change the world.”