OU’s largest annual student-led philanthropy, Soonerthon, will raise money for Oklahoma’s childrens’ hospitals on March 7.
During Soonerthon, the Campus Activities Council’s (CAC) dance marathon philanthropy, participants pledge “to stand a full 12 hours on their feet in support of the kids who can’t,” according to the CAC’s website.
The money raised will benefit the Children’s Hospital Foundation in Oklahoma City through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, according to Soonerthon’s website.
“Donations stay local to fund critical treatments, healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care,” according to the website.
The dance marathon is a culmination of a year-long philanthropy campaign directed at supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation, according to the website.
The event’s executive committee is in charge of organizing and teaching dances to participants, said Lauren McGrath, Soonerthon’s executive chair.
Apart from dancing, the participants will have a chance to speak with the families who will benefit from the fundraiser, McGrath said.
Originally called “OU Dance Marathon,” Soonerthon was launched in 1996 by Daniel Pullin, former dean of Price College of Business, according to the CAC webpage. In 2004, the dance marathon was adopted by CAC.
Last year, the dance marathon raised $900,226.19 while Soonerthon's standing fundraising record was set in 2018 at $1,004,970.18.
“We don't have any expectations,” McGrath said. “We are hoping to put on a fun event and a good environment for the Miracle (Network Hospitals) kids to just come and have a good day where they don’t have to think about their medical treatments.”
Registration will remain open until the event begins, with a fee of $35 for alumni and dancers. Dancers must pledge to raise at least $250, according to the registration portal.
Around 3,000 students have registered for Soonerthon 2020, McGrath said.
The event will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. March 7 at the Sarkeys Fitness Center on the basketball and racquetball courts.
Update: This story was updated at 6 p.m. March 3 to reflect that registration will remain open until the event begins. This story was updated at 8:45 March 3 to reflect that McGrath is executive chair, not director of operations.