Students dance the night away in Hippothon

About 400 students danced for a good cause in the Continental Ballroom Sunday at GW Dance Marathon’s annual Hippothon.

The six-hour event, which raises money for the local Children’s National Medical Center, is the culminating event for GWDM, which donates all the proceeds to charity. The event featured continuous music, free food, competitions and prizes. The marathon’s time was reduced this year – it used to be a 12-hour marathon.

“(The change was) to encourage more students to participate in order to build a student support base,” said Karen Hussein, the chair of the event.

Event organizers and members of Colonial Cabinet, the summer orientation leaders, motivated the participants. There are only two rules: no participant can sit down or wear a watch.

GWDM is part of the Children’s Miracle Network’s Dance Marathon program, which extends to universities around the country to benefit local children’s hospitals. In the seven years that GW Dance Marathon has existed, it has donated more than $40,000 to the local Children’s National Medical Center, organizers said.

About a dozen fraternities and sororities registered for the event and attended as a group. GWDM recommends that registered individuals raise $100 and that groups raise $500 by asking for donations from friends and family members.

Senior Grace Friedberger said her sisters from the sorority Phi Sigma Sigma raised about $585 for the event by asking the chapter to contribute and going door-to-door.

“One girl raised $90 by knocking on doors at Thurston, telling them about the event, and asking for donations,” she said.

An individual could also attend the day of the event without registering and pay a $10 entrance fee.

“I came to help out the kids and to contribute to a good cause,” said Jane Lee, a junior who arrived with a group of friends.

Many organizations helped co-sponsor the event, including the Student Association, Panhellenic Council, Program Board, Marvin Center Governing Board and Dining Services Commission.

The first dance marathon was held at Penn State University in 1973. The event eventually grew to a 48 hour-long extravaganza that raises $2 million annually. After another successful dance marathon was started at Indiana University, the Children’s Miracle Network was set up to start and administer programs across the country.

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