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Hadley MacDonald
IU Dance Marathon

Last modified: Tuesday, November 10, 2009

IU students prepare for 19th annual Dance Marathon to benefit Riley Hospital for Children

Nov. 10, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington students will come together Nov. 13 for the 19th annual IU Dance Marathon (IUDM), a 36-hour fundraiser that benefits Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

IU Dance Marathon

IU Dance Marathon

Print-Quality Photo

More than 2,000 students are expected to participate in this year's Dance Marathon, which begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, and ends at 8 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, at the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER). The event will feature testimonials from Riley families and other guest speakers, dancing, music and food, as well as the chance to meet the families who have benefited from Riley's services and support.

Last year, more than 800 dancers, 350 student committee members and 500 other volunteers (including IU alumni) raised a record $1,376,550.23 for the Ryan White Infectious Disease Center and Riley Hospital for Children. The IUDM is the second student-run philanthropy to raise more than $1 million for Riley.

IU senior Dayna Sheinberg, a journalism and history major and director of dancer relations for the event, said this year's focus is less on the total amount raised and more on creating a fun, welcoming environment for the Riley families in attendance. "We hope to have all of our Riley families come to the event, and regardless of the total amount we raise, we are still helping to save the lives of many kids that walk through the doors of Riley," she said.

A tent inside the HPER building will house activities for Riley families. For the second year in a row, IUDM participants are urged to bring canned goods that will benefit local United Way member agencies. A bone marrow drive has also been added to the event in honor of the number of Riley patients in need of a bone marrow transplant. Volunteers can be added to a bone marrow registry with a quick (and painless) cheek swab.

IU Dance Marathon was created by Jill Steward and 12 other IU Bloomington students in February, 1991, to honor the memory of their friend Ryan White, a Riley Hospital for Children patient and AIDS activist who died of AIDS in 1990. Since the first marathon, IUDM has successfully raised more than $7 million dollars for Riley Hospital for Children.

IU Dance Marathon is the largest Children's Miracle Network-affiliated dance marathon and has inspired dance mini-marathon programs at high schools throughout Indiana, including Bloomington High School South, Bishop Chatard High School and Carmel High School.

"Many of the kids we encounter through our partnership with Riley will need, or have needed, a bone marrow transplant," said Sheinberg. "With this event, we hope to give back to the community because we have been lucky enough to have the support of the community for the past 18 years of Dance Marathon."

For more information about IU Dance Marathon, sponsored this year by IU Alumni Association, IU Physical Plant, IU Rec Sports, Indiana Memorial Union, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Kelley School of Business, as well as more than two dozen business and organizations, see

View a video from the 2007 Dance Marathon:

For a map to IU's HPER building, see:

About Riley Children's Foundation

Riley Children's Foundation supports Riley Hospital for Children, Camp Riley for Youth with Physical Disabilities, and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. As Indiana's only comprehensive hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children, Riley Hospital has provided compassionate care, support and comfort to children and their families since 1924. Each year, families turn to Riley for care more than 200,000 times. Children come from all over Indiana, across the nation and throughout the world. Riley Hospital's partnership with Clarian Health and its strong affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine make Riley Hospital for Children the leader in pediatric care in the state and the region. For more information, see