This year's DanceBlue fundraiser at the University of Kentucky, which culminated over the weekend with its 24-hour dance marathon, raised $1,785,286.96 to fight pediatric cancer, DanceBlue chairs and committee members announced.
Roughly 1,000 student participants took part in the 2017 dance event, which allowed no sleeping or sitting during the 24-hour period and was encouraged by a crowd of additional supporters. The annual fundraising initiative started in 2006 by raising $123,323.16 for the cause and has increased every year since.
Including this year’s total, DanceBlue has contributed more than $11,616,829.58 to the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. All the money raised by DanceBlue is earmarked to benefit children with cancer and their families, and cancer research.
"For the last 365 days, students at the University of Kentucky have been on a mission to fight pediatric cancer," Richie Simpson, 2017 overall chair, said in a release announcing the fundraising total. "They have come together to be a part of something so much greater than any one individual, and for the last 24 hours they have literally taken a stand against cancer. They refused to accept the realities of cancer, and they showed the families in the DanceBlue Clinic they are not alone and will never be alone as they face some of the toughest circumstances life can throw at you. It has been an honor to stand alongside students at the university who are so committed to making a difference and changing the world."