Proceeds from 16th annual Dance Marathon at USD to benefit Children’s Miracle Network

VERMILLION – Dance Marathon will host its 16th annual fundraising event at the University of South Dakota beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 23 and continuing through 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 24.

Dance Marathon, the largest student-run philanthropy in the state of South Dakota, donates all proceeds from the event to Sanford Children’s Castle of Care, the region’s only affiliate of Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. Money raised helps local families throughout the Midwest as the Castle of Care, which is located in Sioux Falls, S.D., is a state-of-the-art facility provided to meet the need of an ill child, giving injured or ailing children a place to forget about their unfortunate circumstances and ultimately heal.

“Last year, more than 450 dancers at USD Dance Marathon raised $52,000, and this year we hope to raise $60,000,” said Mandi Janicek of Omaha, NE, overall chair of USD DM.  “Because this year is our 16th year, each dancer pledges to raise $116 or more.”

The 24-hour event begins at the Muenster University Center and continues at locations throughout Vermillion, including Vermillion Middle School, Vermillion High School, the USD Wellness Center, the DakotaDome, and returns to the Muenster University Center for a rave at 5 a.m. and a closing ceremony at 8:30 a.m. where this year’s final donation totals will be announced. Transportation to each location will be provided by the Security Team.

Participants are awake for all 24 hours but with a variety of events like fireworks, dance lessons from the Moral Captains, Olympic Games, and a concert performance by “Paradise Fears,” everyone stays active and alert. There are also inspirational meetings with families who have been helped by Children’s Miracle Network.

“The families give emotional talks and the students get to listen to their stories of how children overcame their sicknesses or injuries,” said Janicek. “The students get to meet and play with the kids. Meeting the families and kids really shows us that the money raised is going to something important.”

Dance Marathon is a nationwide, student-run philanthropy that raises money for Children’s Miracle Network, a unique organization that is committed to putting children first.  Children’s Miracle Network benefits an array of pediatric programs and services, impacting young lives battling virtually every type of childhood illness and injury. For more information about Dance Marathon and Children’s Miracle Network, visit while additional information about USD Dance Marathon can be found at

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