OXFORD, Miss- Keep dancing until every child has the opportunity to be a kid.
That’s why the University of Mississippi plans on hosting the largest dance Marathon of the year. RebelTHON participants plan to dance from 3 p.m. till 3 a.m. on March 24 in attempt to make the patients of Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital the center of attention.
The Marathon will take place in the Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford.
RebelTHON is part of the Miracle Network Dance Marathon, a nation-wide movement in which high school and college students are more than welcome to participate.
It started with a group of Ole Miss students who attended Oxford High. When they tragically lost one of their classmates, they found out about RebelTHON and decided to bring it to Ole Miss.
This will be the 6th annual dance Marathon fundraiser for the University.
2018 RebelTHON President Hailey Cooper stated that with each year, the event gets bigger and better.
“For the patients of Batson, we really try to make it the best 12 hours of the year,” Cooper said. “For those 12 hours they are here, everything is about those kids. We want to make them feel like celebrities.”
When asked about the goal for this year’s Marathon, Cooper didn’t want to ruin any surprises but she mentioned “It’s bigger, more exciting, and more FTK (For the Kids).”
This year there will be new surprises, blow up slides, and a new entertainment set-up.
Not only do participants plan to dance the night away but participants are also making donations. Once you have registered, participants receive their own personal fundraising page to help with fundraising efforts.
During 2016, the University of Mississippi students raised $112,603 for the Batson Children’s Hospital, which is double what they initially set out for. In 2017, students generated more than $172,000. This year the students are seeking to make a profit just as huge as they did in the previous years.
Among those participants is returning participant, Kailey Ready. Ready initially set out a goal of $1,500 and is currently at $620.
“I haven’t reached my goal yet, but every penny counts,” Ready said. “I know it’s for a good cause so even if I don’t reach my goal I know I contributed to help make a difference.”
Another participant is Tatjana Olinyk. Olinyk initially set her goal to $250, and has since surpassed her goal reaching $1,265.
“Fundraising was fun but I’m really just looking forward to dancing all night.” Olinyk said.
According to President Cooper nearly 1,233 participants have registered for the upcoming event.
Registration ends on February 25 at 2:45 a.m. and the donation cutoff is March 8 at 12 a.m.
Check in time will begin at 1:30 p.m. till the starting time of the marathon, 3 p.m.
“Honestly, I’d advise everyone to come,” Ready Said. “This will be my second year and I honestly can’t wait to be back on the dance floor. Not only are you helping make someones day, but you’re having the time of your life.”