New group on campus dances to raise money for Cook Children’s Hospital

New+group+on+campus+dances+to+raise+money+for+Cook+Childrens+Hospital

Lexie Perez was never a dancer, but she is ready to dance for 12 hours without a break for children who can’t.

Perez, a sophomore communication studies major, created TCU Dance Marathon this year to raise money for Cook Children’s Medical Center.

“Our motto is for the kids,” Perez said. “We stay on our feet for the kids who can’t. The focus is on the kids. We get to hang out with the kids, play with the kids, dance with the kids. It’s just to bring awareness to what the Children’s Hospitals do and how much the kids are going through.”

Dance Marathon is a nationwide group founded in 1991 by Indiana University. The University held the event in honor of Ryan White, who was diagnosed with AIDS. White was an incoming freshman at Indiana University, but died before being able to attend the classes in the fall.

At the event, participants dance for 12 to 36 hours without a break to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. There are now more than 150 schools across the nation with Dance Marathon groups.

Perez said one of the goals of TCU Dance Marathon is to raise awareness about children who aren’t able to function as others their age.

“We’re standing to raise awareness of the kids who don’t have the opportunity to do that – the ones who are sick and in the hospital,” said Perez.

Senior biochemistry major Sabrie Howell volunteers with Cook Children’s Medical Center. She joined Perez in forming TCU Dance Marathon to help the children have fun outside of the hospital.

Haylie Hall, development associate at Cook Children’s Medical Center, is working in conjunction with Howell and Perez. She said the funds raised from the event will go towards the greatest needs at the medical center, such as family support services, the child life program or uncompensated care.

“I can’t wait to see how far this goes and I hope it continues on for many years,” Hall said. “I’m happy to be involved in this wonderful program.”

Both Howell and Perez said they want Dance Marathon to continue and become part of a tradition at the university each year.

“I’d love for it to just take hold and keep on running even after I leave,” Perez said. “I would love for it to just grow and grow and grow, so that we’re able to raise as much money as we can and our numbers continue to grow so that we are making a change for these kids.”

Although Dance Marathon is a yearlong fundraiser, the 12-hour dance event will be held on Feb. 21 in the BLUU Ballroom from 2 a.m. to 2 p.m.