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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 11, 2006

ISU Dance Marathon Torch Relay Running To Save Kids

With cold winter temperatures and frost on the ground, it may not seem like ideal conditions to go on a run across Iowa, but for a group of Iowa State University students with very warm hearts, these conditions won't matter.

These students are part of ISU Dance Marathon, and once again they are taking part in relaying a torch from Children's Hospital of Iowa in Iowa City to Ames -- 120 miles over five days -- to help launch their ninth annual Dance Marathon.

Runners from the ISU Dance Marathon executive council will begin carrying the torch after their kick-off ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 16 at the John Pappajohn Pavilion entrance at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. From there a marathon will be run each day, passing through Marengo on Tuesday, Jan. 17; Belle Plaine on Wednesday, Jan. 18; Toledo, Tama, and Marshalltown on Thursday, Jan. 19; and Melbourne and Nevada on Friday, Jan. 20. The run ends at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21 in Ames when the final mile is completed at the ISU Memorial Union at the opening ceremonies of Iowa State Dance Marathon.

The 15-hour "Kickin' it for the Kids" event, with more than 500 registered dancers and 350 family members, celebrates life. Participants will be on their feet for the entire time while listening to music, dancing and playing games. Each dancer will have raised $175 in pledges making this the largest philanthropic event on the Iowa State University campus.

Proceeds of the ISU Dance Marathon will be donated to the Children's Miracle Network, the nation's largest charitable organization. This past year, ISU Dance Marathon has enhanced many lives of children treated at the hospital through their purchase of specialized equipment. The Orthopaedic Gait Lab received a $50,000 gift to purchase a computerized system to help kids walk more efficiently and upright. Funds have also purchased a $75,000 specialized surgical arm to allow surgeons to perform robotic surgery on very tiny infants. In fact, history was made this past year with this equipment when the smallest baby on record utilized this type of technology. ISU Dance Marathon continues to support the massage program for parents and patients; supply a weekly continental breakfast for families to foster more interaction; and underwrite a social service program called "Comfort Kits" that provides parking, food and other necessary items when patients come at a moment's notice to the hospital.

Children's Miracle Network is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to generating funds and awareness programs to benefit children treated at more than 170 children's hospitals though out the United States and Canada. To date, Children's Miracle Network has raised more than $2.3 billion for children's hospitals. 

Children's Miracle Network funds support Children's Hospital of Iowa at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Children's Hospital of Iowa is the state's longest-serving children's hospital. More than 140,000 children receive care at Children's Hospital of Iowa and its statewide network of outreach clinics each year.

If you would like more information about how you can help Children's Miracle Network, contact Lisa Baum, Michelle Altmaier or Morgan Rohrbach at 319-335-8484. You can also learn online at www.uihealthcare.com/cmn

If you would like more information about how you can help ISU Dance Marathon, call 515-294-2305 or email dancemarathon@iastate.edu.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACTS: Media: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu; Program: Lisa Baum, Michelle Altmaier or Morgan Rohrbach, 319-335-8484.