Fifth annual Dance Big Red raises over $71,000
- Author: Norton Children's Hospital
- Author: Monday, April 1st, 2019
Dance Big Red raised $71,780.17 for pediatric heart care and adolescent cancer care at Norton Children's Hospital after dancing for 12 hours surpassing its goal. Nearly 900 WKU students, faculty, community members, sponsors and families attended the fifth annual student-led fundraising event held over the weekend at Raymond B. Preston Health & Activities Center, increasing participants and fundraising efforts from the previous year.
“The event was inspirational with several families from Norton Children’s Hospital sharing about their journey,” said Kelsey Humpert, Dance Big Red Co-Chair. “The outcome is overwhelming for the fifth year. Our hearts are overflowing with so much joy. Our tag says it all - Bad Dancing Saves Lives.”
Dance Big Red held various fundraising events throughout the year including Dodge for a Cause and Kick-it for the Kids. The executive members have been involved with offering support to the Bowling Green Brave Hearts Chapter and supporting various Norton Children’s Hospital outreach activities across the region along with visiting patients and touring the hospital over winter break.
“The success of the event is a testament to the strength of leadership and compassion found at WKU,” said Dana Matukas, Western Kentucky Development and Marketing Coordinator, Children’s Hospital Foundation and Norton Children’s Hospital. “Children’s Hospital Foundation was contacted by a WKU sophomore in early 2014 with the idea to create a dance event to support Norton Children’s Hospital. One student’s dream has now grown into an annual event that continues to grow with student participation and pledges impacting children from across the state that need specialized treatment. Since the inaugural event five years ago, the event has raised over $248K for Norton Children’s Hospital.”
WKU President Timothy C. Caboni said: “We strive to teach our students the importance of not only making a good living, but more importantly making a good life for themselves and for those around them. It’s terrific to see so many of our students getting involved with Dance Big Red, giving of their time and sleep to help children. I’m proud of our Hilltoppers for understanding the significance we each play in our communities and how our efforts can change the world around us.”
Dance Big Red launched a high school version several years ago called Dance Little Red bringing even great awareness and fundraising efforts within the region. This year several high schools made the commitment to host a Dance Little Red including Greenwood, South Warren, Warren East and Bowling Green. Collectively the high schools raised over $16,000. The Spartans at South Warren High School were recognized for raising the most funds with the traveling trophy and Greenwood High School Gators received the spirit stick.
“A total of 17 WKU students served on the DBR Executive Board and over 40 students served on one of nine DBR Committees. Everyone had the drive and passion to move the dial further than ever before. We are proud of our results that will continue to impact Norton Children’s Hospital! We want to give HOPE to these children fighting daily and INSPIRE the next generation,” said Paige Priest, Dance Big Red Co-Chair.
The event is possible due to hard work and dedication of volunteers at every level within Dance Big Red and the Dance Little Reds along with all the sponsors. The top tier sponsors included Bowling Green Hot Rods, Dynamic Entertainment, Musicians Pro, WKU Intramural Recreational Sports, Kiwanis Club of Bowling Green, Midtown, WKU Catering along with Chick Fil A, Ingram Entertainment, KORT, Muse of Bowling Green, US Bank and Zanfel. The media sponsors included WNKY, WBKO, WUHU, WOVO, Sam FM, Nash Icon and Howdy.
Matukas added, “Norton Children’s Hospital is home to the Addison Jo Blair Cancer Care Center, which cares for more than 650 children annually and has one of the nation’s largest sickle cell anemia treatment programs. Approximately 8,200 chemotherapy treatments are provided each year. The hospital is also home to Norton Children’s Heart Institute, which performs nearly 400 heart surgeries and over 12,000 noninvasive diagnostic studies each year.”
Pledges are still being accepted. Visit DanceBigRed.com.