Dance Marathon is neither dance nor marathon; it is a celebration of life. (It’s also a fundraiser.)
Iowa State Dance Marathon has been helping children with life threatening illnesses for 22 years, giving financial and emotional support to hundreds of families across Iowa. All of the money raised through our event is given directly to University of Iowa Children’s Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network. In addition to Iowa State Dance Marathon’s 1 MILLION MIRACLE pledge to the brand new, state-of-the-art Children’s Hospital that opened in 2016. Here are a few examples to where our fundraising efforts support:

  • Library materials
  • Patient support “comfort kits”–parking and food vouchers for family members during extended stays
  • Music therapy equipment
  • Infant CPR training kits
  • Surgery teaching model
  • Diversion tools
  • Zaky positioning tool in NICU–a parental simulation tool to stimulate development in premature infants
  • Video laryngoscope for PICU
  • MRI vision distraction tools
  • Continual improvement in recreational therapy
  • Funding the building of the new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
Stead Family Children's Hospital

Stead Family Children’s Hospital

At ISU, our big event happens in January. At this event, our participants (dancers) stay on their feet for FIFTEEN hours to symbolize our support for the families who spend countless hours in hospital waiting rooms. But it’s not a punishment for us, it’s a party. We listen to music, play games, hang out with the kids we help, and even do a bit of dancing.

Dance Marathon is for the kids, and at Iowa State, that’s always our focus. We build up to our big day all year long by raising money for the kiddos at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. After a dancer raises $250, they get to come to the party in January. In 2018, we raised over $332,000 together, for the kids.

Iowa State Dance Marathon Over the Years

The first Dance Marathon at Iowa State was held in the spring of 1998. The event was sponsored by the Greek Interfraternity and Panhellenic Governing Councils. It was held in the basement of State Gym and was 10 hours long. The day was a great success and raised over $20,000.Much has changed since that first Dance Marathon. Today, as the largest student run philanthropy on campus, Dance Marathon holds a 15-hour event and supports over 80 families from across Iowa. Since its beginning, Dance Marathon has raised a total of $2.7 million for University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Dance Marathon represents a life-changing experience, complete with the opportunity to meet Iowa children and families who have directly benefited from University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and Children’s
Miracle Network Hospitals. Each year ISU Dance Marathon continues to grow and make a larger impact on our families across Iowa. With your help, we hope to continue this wonderful tradition of college students making a difference! Dance Marathon 2019 will be held at the Memorial Union in the Great Hall on Saturday January 19th, from 9am to midnight. We would love to see you there to join the generation fighting for the next and be a part of the largest student run philanthropic event at Iowa State University! For more information on Iowa State University Dance Marathon, please feel free to e-mail us at

For more information on the national Dance Marathon organization, check out

Children’s Miracle Network

Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) is a non-profit organization comprising of over 170 premier children’s hospitals across the US and Canada. Every year, Children’s Miracle Network hospitals treat 17 million children for every diseasee and injury imaginable. Children’s Miracle Network hospitals impact the lives of more children than any other children’s organization in the world. Children’s Miracle Network dollars stay local and help benefit children and families treated at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. These funds help to provide pediatric research, patient enhancements as well as entertainment systems at the bedside, books, games and creating a home within the hospital for each child and family. For more information please check out

University Of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital

download-1University of Iowa Stead FamilyChildren’s Hospital is dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of children and their families. The hospital’s staff members provide care across a full spectrum — from health promotion and well child care to the crisis of traumatic injury and life-threatening illness, to birth defects, chronic illness, and developmental disabilities. UI Children’s Hospital was just ranked #20 nationally by Parents magazine on their best children’s hospital list. This nationally recognized pediatric center of excellence, providing comprehensive health care for children from birth to young adulthood in our outpatient clinics, surgical treatment and diagnostic centers, and inpatient beds.The hospital’s staff features more than 200 physicians and surgeons with special expertise and certification in the care of children. In addition, over 400 professional nurses with special education in pediatrics are part of the UI Children’s Hospital team. They are joined by child life therapists, pediatric pharmacists, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, and other pediatric professionals to assure comprehensive, “state of the science” care for children.Each year, UI Children’s Hospital records more than 160,000 clinic visits and some 4,500 inpatient admissions. In addition, numerous pediatric outreach and satellite clinics provide primary and specialty care for children in communities throughout Iowa. A 190-bed “hospital within a hospital,” UI Children’s Hospital benefits from the sophisticated services and comprehensive resources of UI Hospitals and Clinics. And as an academic teaching facility, University of Iowa Children’s Hospital prepares medical and health care leaders for the future. Get to know them as your resource and partner in caring for children. For more information please check out


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