After Ohio State’s annual 24-hour dance marathon celebrating a year’s worth of fundraising, concluded at 10 p.m. Saturday, BuckeyeThon revealed a $1,704,184.19 total for the kids.
The dance marathon consisted of colorful dancing, team games, the sharing of cancer-impacted testimonies and a red carpet for kids who have been treated for pediatric illnesses. BuckeyeThon is the largest student-run philanthropy in Ohio, according to its website.
Ohio State students were divided into two shifts; a night shift beginning Friday night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and a day shift on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m..
Tori Weiner, a fourth-year in finance and vice president of advancement for BuckeyeThon, said that the Buckeyethon staff planned everything, from parking, to invitations, the logistics of the event, to catering a support system for BuckeyeThon families who have been treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“The students really are the people who are pushing the movement forward,” Weiner said.
Weiner explained that this was their biggest registration year yet, with 5,262 team members registered in the dance marathon.
The student-run philanthropy organization was developed in 2001 and has made strides ever since, raising more than $9.5 million overall for cancer patients and research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Each year their total has also increased. $1,510,036.39 was raised in 2017 and $1,603,437.49 was raised in 2018.
“When you join BuckeyeThon you really are joining a family, and it’s made Ohio State so much smaller than it actually is,” Weiner said. “The relationships that I’ve made with people that I’m on the executive board with and families I’ve formed a relationship with are really what’s going to last and make me keep fighting for pediatric cancer.”
Each student had to fundraise a minimum of $250 in order to participate in the dance marathon, but many students exceeded this.
“I chose to do BuckeyeThon because I really just love the opportunity to get involved with students at my school,” Emme Furlong, a third-year in communications said. “And of course for the kids, raising money for cancer. So many people in my family have had cancer and people I know, and it’s really awesome to be able to have fun and make a difference.”
Furlong has been involved with BuckeyeThon for all three of her years here at Ohio State, and like most students, plans on coming back to raise even more in 2020.
Although it is the biggest event for the student organization of the year, the dance marathon is not all BuckeyeThon has to offer. Throughout the year, BuckeyeThon hosts other events to raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Among those events are a barbecue, a fashion show and CarnOval, an event on April 11 where students come out on the South Oval to participate in “an afternoon of outdoor attractions, inflatables and food,” its website said.