LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2020) — University of Kentucky students across campus are putting the final preparations together for DanceBlue 2020. This year’s DanceBlue Marathon will take place from 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 1 in Memorial Coliseum and feature more than 900 student dancers.
DanceBlue is UK’s largest student-run organization that fundraises year-round, culminating in a 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon.
Current Overall Chair Sally Martin is passionate about the organization and the mission shared by thousands of UK students in fighting cancer.
“DanceBlue is far more than a student philanthropy or a fundraising organization. With DanceBlue, we dance for hope alongside those still fighting, the reality of grief for those who have passed, and the joyful celebration of those who have won their battle,” Martin said.
The money raised by DanceBlue is donated to the Golden Matrix Fund, established to support the children of the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic. DanceBlue also provides funds to support research at the UK Markey Cancer Center.
Students involved with DanceBlue prepare for the marathon an entire year in advance.
“The Marathon is a 24-hour celebration of all the work that thousands of students have put in throughout the year where we get to dance alongside the kids that we fight for every day,” Martin shared.
Since its inception in 2006, DanceBlue has raised more than $15.3 million “For The Kids.”
In addition to small but important patient support programs such as the “Beads of Courage” program that each child receives after cancer treatments, this funding has enabled the hiring of vital staff in the clinic including a certified child life specialist to help children emotionally handle their diagnosis and treatments.
A school intervention specialist has also been brought on to serve as an advocate for patients, ensuring they manage coursework while undergoing treatment.
The support of the Golden Matrix Fund enabled the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic to open a brand new facility in 2017 after a complete renovation funded solely from DanceBlue. The new Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic has expanded the capacity of the clinic and provides a more convenient and comfortable experience for families.
Anyone is welcome to stop by throughout the marathon to watch in the stands and support the dancers and kids. Individuals can also provide support by volunteering, donating and becoming corporate sponsors. For questions regarding involvement, visit the DanceBlue office located in the Gatton Student Center or contact a committee member.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.