As BuckeyeThon wrapped up late Saturday night, the organization hit a new record by raising $1,338,872.37, surpassing last year’s total by more than $100,000.
Courtney Thomson, director of marketing and communications for BuckeyeThon and a third-year in psychology, described this year’s marathon as “amazing.”
“I think it was one of our best events in terms of morale and amount of excitement that people had for the event. Every activity I went to was full, and everyone was having a great time,” Thomson said.
One-hundred percent of the money raised by dancers goes straight to the Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. From there it’s used to help alleviate the cost of treatment to provide a more comfortable stay for the children, and a portion goes to research as well.
BuckeyeThon has the greatest dance marathon attendance in the country, Thomson said. The organization has raised more than $3.7 million in the last 4 years.
The theme for this year’s marathon changed compared to last year’s, going from a monetary focus of raising at least $1 million to focusing more on the purpose behind why BuckeyeThon was created in the first place.
“Our campaign this year was ‘every kid deserves to be a Buckeye,’ and we chose that campaign for a couple of different reasons. First, we wanted it to be a campaign that Ohio State could really connect to on a personal level and because it brought the focus back that it wasn’t all about the dollar amount that was raised. It was about the kids that we’re helping,” Thomson said.
This year’s BuckeyeThon saw around 4,800 participants, less than last year’s event, which saw 5,000.
Students could choose from two 12-hours shifts that make up the 24-hour dance marathon. The first shift took place from 8 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday, and the second one started at 11 a.m. Saturday and ended at 11 p.m. that day. Thomson said a majority of the participants were committed to their whole 12 hours.
“We had very few dancers who got tired even. They did all 12 hours and were completely engaged,” Thomson said.
Nicolette Faragalli, a second-year in marketing, participated in BuckeyeThon for the second year in a row and said it was an “amazing experience.”
“There is no better feeling than seeing the miracle kids on stage having the time of their lives. Standing up for 12 hours for these kids is something I am so grateful to participate in,” Faragalli said. “BuckeyeThon is an organization that has become one of my favorite parts of being a student here at Ohio State, and I already can’t wait until next year.”
Plans for next year’s theme are underway, and although it has not been chosen yet, Thomson said students might see some of this year’s theme in next year’s.
“We’ve discussed changing, keeping and modifying the theme, and it hasn’t been officially decided yet, but I do know that campus is really connected with this campaign, so it’s probably something we will use in our language regardless if it’s in our campaign or not,” she said.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story inaccurately stated that the organization had raised $3.7 million in the last 14 years. In fact, it has raised that much over the last 4 years.