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Dance-less marathon raises over $1 million

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COVID-19 led to cancellation of Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon this year, but the event still raised more than a million dollars for charity.

NUDM organizers announced today that the event raised $1,029,366 for Children’s Home & Aid and the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF).

It’s the 10th consecutive year NUDM broke the $1 million mark in funds raised.

Thanks to the help of more than 10,000 donors, NUDM was able to present checks of $903,786.95 to Children’s Home & Aid and $100,420.77 to ECF.

Beyond its financial impact this year, NUDM engaged in 689 service hours which included hosting educational events, mentoring partnerships with foster youth at the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Center and hosting campus “BUILD parties” of varying activities for Rice Center youth.

“What we’ve done isn’t special because of the final total of funds we raised. NUDM is special because it’s a culmination of hours, days, weeks and months of hard work,” said NUDM 2020 Executive Co-Chair Eliana Scobey. “NUDM represents so much more than a number. It represents the passion we have for giving children the experience of family, love, trust and safety.”

While the financial contribution, mentorship and year-long fundraising and service effort that NUDM 2020 engaged in compares to previous years, this year’s 30-hour marathon looked a bit different. Instead of occurring inside a tent at Norris University Center, the marathon occurred virtually, on NUDM’s Instagram (@NUDM), Facebook (@NUdancemarathon) and Twitter (@NUDM) pages due to a coronavirus related, University-mandated cancellation of the actual dancing for the first time in NUDM’s 46-year history.

More than 500 students work to raise funds for and participate in the event.

Lucy Clements from Children’s Home & Aid said, “Children’s Home & Aid’s partnership with NUDM has done so much immeasurable good for our children, our families and our community. In spite of the 30 hours being canceled, NUDM has already given the children at the Rice Child & Family Center something that lasts far beyond any dollars raised or event held. What our children have gained through the relationships the dancers have formed with them is never going away.”

Over the course of the 30-hour virtual event, NUDM’s most popular social media content reached nearly 13,000 viewers, while NUDM’s cancellation message reached upwards of 15,000.

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