Help the UNC Dance Marathon for N.C. Children’s Hospital

Special to The Mountaineer
By Amelia Ward | Feb 01, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo Amelia Ward

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is well known for as the nation’s first public university, its academic standing is one of the highest in the nation, and its basketball team is unmatched in tradition. These are notable traits. However, the school is exceptional in another arena — its dedication to the patients of N.C. Children’s Hospital.

The UNC Dance Marathon is the largest student-run fundraising organization in North Carolina. In the last 15 years, UNC-DM has raised over $3.3 million to aid the patients and families of N.C. Children’s Hospital. While money is raised year-round, the main event is the marathon, which takes place in February. At the marathon, more than 1,600 students stand for 24 hours in support of these patients.

In the 23rd hour of the event, the families that benefit from funds raised by UNC-DM take to the stage. Each one tells their story, and each is more moving than the one before it. For one parent, the money she received from UNC-DM paid to keep the electricity on in her house. Without it, the medical equipment keeping her child alive would have been turned off. For another, the funds paid for her child’s life-saving medication not covered by the family’s health insurance. For everyone, the assistance allowed them to fully focus on their child’s health without the burden of finances.

Although not everyone can make the symbolic stand in February, everyone can make a difference by donating to UNC-DM. Students also donate their time by volunteering in the hospital. And finally, while the event is in the Research Triangle, children from almost every county in North Carolina, including Haywood, have benefitted from funds donated by UNC-DM.

To donate and learn, visit www.crowdrise.com/2013uncdancemarathon. One hundred percent of the money raised goes straight to the families at N.C. Children’s Hospital, and every donation is tax deductible.

Editor's note: Amelia Ward graduated from Pisgah High School in 2010. Her grandparents Frank and Shelba Hopkins live in Bethel, and grandfather Guy Ward lives in Canton, along with Ward's parents.

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