University of Mississippi students raised $112,603 for Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital at RebelTHON, an annual dance marathon and yearlong fundraiser for Batson Children’s Hospital, which is part of the UM Medical Center in Jackson.
Thirteen patients from the hospital attended the event to share their stories and tell what fundraising means to them, according to Maia Cotelo, an Ole Miss senior and RebelTHON executive director.
This year’s goal was to raise $60,000, but the group nearly doubled that amount.
“We are one of few schools that can raise money for a hospital that is directly connected to the university and this event offers the rare opportunity to meet the cause one is fundraising for,” Cotelo said. “It is a very moving experience.”
The dance marathon celebrates the extensive work done throughout the year. Student fundraisers are invited to attend the overnight celebration to enjoy music, food and games. Participants are asked to stand, jump, dance or just keep moving for 12 hours.
“They cannot sit down,” she said. “We are literally standing in solidarity with the patients and families of Batson. It is very difficult, but extremely fulfilling.”
The dance marathon is part of the Miracle Network Dance Marathon, a nationwide movement for college and high school students interested in supporting the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
“All of the money raised goes directly to Batson,” she said. “We survive on sponsorships and donations from places around town, as well as a very small budget.”
Guy Giesecke, CEO of Batson, said that student support is extremely valuable to the hospital.
"Batson Children's Hospital and our patients greatly appreciate the energy and commitment of University of Mississippi students, and we look forward to working with them in the future," he said.
For more information on supporting programs at UMMC, contact Travis Bradburn at 601-815-7473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.