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Release: Feb. 4, 2002

Dance Marathon raises $519,000 for Children's Hospital of Iowa

University of Iowa Dance Marathon 2002 organizers announced that last Friday's 24-hour fund-raising event netted roughly $519,990 in monies that will be used to support more than 200 families of those treated at the Children's Hospital of Iowa at UI Hospitals and Clinics. More than 900 students gathered Friday evening at the Iowa Memorial Union for this year's event compared to 850 who participated last year. This year's total surpassed the $504,000 raised in 2001.

Jason Krause, UI student and Dance Marathon public relations director, said organizers did not set a monetary goal for the eighth annual event, which has raised more than $2 million. In honor of the contributions of Dance Marathon, Children's Hospital administrators last Tuesday dedicated a new Dance Marathon Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit, which is expected to open early this summer.

Other money raised in previous years by Dance Marathon has been used to fund Child Life Therapists, college scholarships for family members attending the UI, and to purchase comfort kits for families and to assist with patients' hospital bills, Krause said. The group is hopeful that it will be able to support other renovations to the pediatric units at the Children's Hospital in future years, he said.

Krause credits his fellow students who each needed to raise $375, excluding a $25 registration fee, for making the event a success. Krause added that morale visits by UI men's basketball and dance teams lifted dancers' spirits as did the live bands Steel Drum, Nadas and MER. Corporations such as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, and Geico Direct made significant financial contributions, he said.

The UI Dance Marathon creates special projects to provide emotional and financial support to families treated at the Children's Hospital of Iowa at the UIHC, with an emphasis on the Division of Hematology/Oncology.