by Chloe Field

For the eleventh straight year, over 200 College of Charleston students will flock to TD Arena to spend more than 13 hours dabbing, whipping their hair back and forth and shaking it off for a common cause — for the kids.

The College’s annual Dance Marathon, benefitting the Medical University of South Carolina Sean Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, will be from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. To date, more than 3,000 students have participated and the events have raised more than $518,000. This year, 236 students have registered for the event.

“The event has been growing consistently over the past five years,” says Dylan Mazelis ’16, who is the program coordinator at the Higdon Student Leadership Center and Dance Marathon’s primary advisor.

The day-long dance marathon serves as the culmination of several fundraising and awareness initiatives staged by the student executive board throughout the school year. The board is composed of a diverse group of students who lead efforts in areas such as recruitment, sponsorship, volunteer relations and entertainment.

The event averages 150 participants annually, and each student pledges to raise at least $62 in support of the cause. With a total donation goal of $50,000, the event serves as a celebration of students’ cumulative fundraising efforts. The day’s activities include various raffles, competitions, music performances, as well as visits from MUSC patients and families.

“There is always a great moment when the students can really put faces to the cause, and bring it all back to the kids,” says Mazelis.