Dance marathon to raise money for children’s hospital


Big Red will have the chance to put on his dancing shoes for the upcoming Dance Big Red event, on Feb. 20 in the Preston Center. 

Dance Big Red is a dance marathon being held to raise money and awareness for Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, the only full-service pediatric care facility dedicated exclusively to caring for children, according to their website.

Kelli Robinson, a junior from Bardstown, organized Dance Big Red to support the hospital that helps families from across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. 

“When I started this, I wanted to give college students an opportunity to give back to the hospital in an easy, fun way,” Robinson said. “My main goal is to raise awareness for how college students can get in there and help out.”

The event has been in progress for about a year, according to Robinson, and all of the organizers are excited to see it come together this week.

Participants in Dance Big Red will be WKU students, faculty and staff. Groups and individuals alike will have a personal goal of raising at least $88 in proceeds for Kosair Children’s Hospital. There is also a $12 registration fee.

“Each individual dancer gets his or her own fundraising page, which works well for social media,” Dana Matukas, from Kosair Children’s Hospital, said. “Family and friends from far away can support them. It’s all online and an easy way to give back.” 

On Tuesday, Feb. 17, a preview night for the event will be hosted at the Chick-fil-A on Campbell Lane from 5 to 7 p.m. 

“[The preview night] is a chance for the Bowling Green community to meet our participants and feel like a part of the event,” Robinson said. “We’ll even have a penny war, so they can help donate as well.” 

Finally, on Friday, Feb. 20, the event officially kicks off. Registration lasts from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Downing Student Union Nite Class, located next to Redzone. At 8 p.m., the participants will make their way to Preston to begin the event with an opening ceremony. 

Once at the gym, a check-in booth will remain open until midnight to accommodate late participants.

Throughout the night, there will be several activities, along with food and prizes. The families of some of the patients from the hospital will be present. 

The dance marathon will continue all night, before concluding at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. At that time, the total amount of money raised will be unveiled. 

 Dance Big Red currently has more than 100 participants, Robinson said. In the upcoming week, groups and individuals are still strongly encouraged to register, regardless of dance ability. 

“It’s going to be a memory they will have for the rest of their lives,” Matukas said. “Knowing they’re a part of something so much bigger that will make an impact on these families they’ll be able to keep that with them forever.”