More than 1,000 undergraduate students will dance for 30 hours from March 8 to 10 during Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon (NUDM) 2013 for the Danny Did Foundation and the Evanston Community Foundation.

One of the largest student-run philanthropies in the nation, NUDM 2013 begins at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8 and concludes at 1 a.m. Sunday, March 10, at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive.

Northwestern faculty members are invited to dance between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, March 9, for a $5 donation. A live stream of the entire event will be available online at

Some 250 Northwestern non-dancing students also will work that weekend as staff handling production, security, dancer relations, finance and public relations.

Top and above, scenes from last year’s Dance Marathon.

For the first time, in keeping with Northwestern’s commitment to being a leader in sustainability, NUDM 2013 is “going green” by being carbon neutral. With the support of SustainNU and the Associated Student Government Sustainability Committee, NUDM will monitor its electricity output and will pay to offset carbon emissions.

This year’s primary beneficiary, the Danny Did Foundation, is a not-for-profit organization that provides epilepsy awareness information and subsidizes seizure detection devices for families in need.

Founded in 2010 by Chicagoans Mike and Mariann Stanton after the Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) of their 4-year-old son Danny, the foundation is dedicated in its mission to prevent deaths caused by seizures.

Nearly three million people in the United States and 65 million people globally are afflicted by the neurological disorder of epilepsy, which is defined as the occurrence of two or more unprovoked seizures.

The Evanston Community Foundation — an organization that builds, connects and distributes resources and knowledge for the public good through local organizations — will be the secondary beneficiary for the 16th consecutive year.

It will receive 10 percent of the proceeds. Since 1998, NUDM has donated a total of $948,926 to ECF. Dance Marathon’s contributions to ECF supports the foundation’s program of grant making to more than 25 local organizations each year.

Since Dance Marathon launched in 1975, students have raised more than $13 million for more than 30 charities. 

Last year, NUDM raised $1,107,670 in total gifts and in-kind donations, for the second record-breaking year in a row. As a result, Dance Marathon 2012 co-chairs presented checks for $717,770.29 to The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation for childhood cancer, and $80,752 to the Evanston Community Foundation.

Each year, the Dance Marathon committee selects a primary and secondary beneficiary to receive proceeds (minus expenses and in-kind gifts), collected after months of fundraising. Fundraising concludes in early March after 30 hours of dancing takes place on the Evanston campus at Norris University Center.

Special fundraising events for NUDM 2013 include a series of Trivia nights, a talent show starring Northwestern athletes, a Valentine’s Day party, a Top Chef event held at Norris University Center, a comedy night, canning for cash donations on Evanston area streets and prior to a February basketball game at Welsh-Ryan Arena, and a student letter writing campaign soliciting funds from family, friends, acquaintances and alumni.

Other NUDM 2013 fundraising activities that are open to the public include:

  • Silent Auction online, Monday, March 4 through 1 a.m. Sunday, March 10. When the online silent auction goes live it will be available at
  • A 5K Run around the University’s lakefill begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9. The pre-registration fee is $20, or $25 on the day of the event, all benefiting NUDM. Check-in  starts at 10 a.m. at Norris University Center. Participants can register online.
  • Kids Fair, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Norris University Center. Admission is $5 per family and registration is not required. The children’s fair will feature a bean bag toss, temporary tattoos, face painting, cookie decorating and much more.

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