After 24 hours of dancing, students raised $1,510,036.39 for pediatric cancer research and patients during this year’s BuckeyeThon. This amount comes just shy of $200,000 more than the previous year.
The event is the culmination of a year’s worth of philanthropy efforts by students and community members alike. Many spectators were reduced to tears as the number 5 was held up, proving they had reached their goal.
All $1.5 million raised will go to Nationwide Children’s Hospital to aid research and services for kids fighting cancer, as well as those being treated on the hematology and oncology floors of the hospital.
Hannah Staats, a third-year in biology and director of marketing and communications for BuckeyeThon, said this year the team expanded upon the theme “Every kid deserves to be a Buckeye.”
“We tried to really make it a tagline and then tell our stories of whether people who are Buckeyes and what that means to them or the kids and why they want to be a Buckeye,” Staats said. “So really taking that statement and making it personal to every single group we interact with.”
The fundraising goals have also developed along with the event. In 2015, the goal was to break $1 million dollars raised which was surpassed when $1,231,290.11 was raised. Last year, the event raised another $100,00 on top of that at $1,338,872.37. This year’s goal was about $1.5 million, but Staats said the real goal is larger.
“The goal is always to just make more miracles and do what we can,” she said.
Students had the option of attending the night shift from 7 p.m. Friday night until 7 a.m. Saturday morning, or the day shift from Saturday 10 a.m until 10 p.m. Besides dancing, students were encouraged to participate in activities such as life size Hungry Hungry Hippos and human foosball.
Yellow team captain Brianna Rosen, a fourth-year in animal science, has been a part of BuckeyeThon for the past three years.
“I chose to participate in BuckeyeThon as a sort of thank you to Nationwide Children’s Hospital because they treated my brother when he suffered from SIDS and it’s the best way I can think about giving back,” she said.
She said her favorite part of the marathon is the energy.
“Everyone around you is just as passionate as you are for this fantastic cause,” Rosen said.
Rachel Doan, the mother of cancer survivor Luke Doan, thanked the students for all their hard work.
“You guys are a tsunami for cancer,” she said in a speech.
Another survivor, 19-year-old Emma Davis, compared the students’ exhaustion with the exhaustion of a cancer patient.
“What you guys are doing right now, is very much parallel to the fight that every single cancer patient goes through,” she said.