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Release: Immediate

Dance Marathon 1999 shatters attendance, earnings records

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- On Feb. 5-6 more than 650 University of Iowa students danced for 30 hours to raise money for children facing cancer. In the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union students and volunteers danced from 5 p.m. Friday until 11 p.m. Saturday.

The University of Iowa Dance Marathon is a student-run organization established in 1994 to aid the Children's Hospital of Iowa at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). Dance Marathon works to bring emotional and financial support through special projects to families served by the Pediatric Oncology Unit and to enhance the lives of children facing cancer.

This year's event featured the appearances of several bands, Miss Iowa 1998, University of Iowa athletes, UIHC officials as well as a leather-clad UI President Mary Sue Coleman. Throughout the 30 hours students stayed on their feet dancing with the families sponsored by Dance Marathon. These amazing individuals gave up their weekends for families they don't know, dancing through the night without sitting, sleeping or drinking caffeinated beverages.

Dance Marathon 1999 shattered last year's records. Some 650 dancers surpassed the 525 total from a year ago. In 1998 Dance Marathon sponsored 63 families. That number has now grown to 92, 80 of whom were present at the event last weekend. When the final toteboard of the Dance Marathon's earnings was revealed, the total read $354,064.08. That number far exceeded last year's $225,000 and this year's goal of $275,000. The total is expected to continue to rise as checks continue to flow in.

Some of the top money earners include individuals: Steve Wargo, $1,700; Jillian Meyers, $1606; Jessica Volkman, $1535; and organizations with fewer than 25 dancers: Alpha Delta Pi, $8,8542; Delta Sigma Pi, $7217; Alpha Xi Delta, $6,763; and organizations with more than 25 dancers: Newman Catholic Student Center, $19,560; Alpha Chi Omega, $14,826; Tri Delta, $13,142.

Money raised by the University of Iowa Dance Marathon benefits families being served by the Pediatric Oncology Unit. The addition of freezers stocked with food available 24 hours a day for patients on oncology floors, an new art cart for the children's playroom, a weekly continental breakfast for parents and children, the purchase of holiday gifts, and family programs are all made possible by funding from Dance Marathon.

To make a donation or learn more about Dance Marathon, please call (319 353-2094.