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Care to Dance

Students Raise Record $604K at Dance Marathon

By Alex Stoller

Terpthon

About 1,200 Terps with big hearts and sore feet raised more than $600,000 on Saturday to support Washington Children’s National Health System.

At 12 a.m. Sunday, the board members behind the 12-hour dance marathon called Terp Thon held up oversize cards, showing the still-peppy crowd the year’s fundraising total: $604,318.24.

“When it comes down to it, the number we raise is not the biggest thing about it,” says Chris LeCompte, Terp Thon’s finance chair. “The fact that we’re helping the Miracle Kids and their families is what it’s really about. But we kind of took everything in and did everything in our power to reach the number that we raised.”

The sixth annual student-run event was the culmination of a year of philanthropy that included a 5K color run, an “A Cappella Idol” event and a one-day fundraising push that netted more than $42,000 in two hours.

Terp Thon became the eight-highest fundraising dance marathon for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, moving up from last year’s 10th spot among the 400 participating universities.

The event in the Xfinity Center’s pavilion featured guest performances, stories from Miracle Network families and lots of boogeying.

“That feeling when we held up that number made every experience this year, good and bad, 150 percent worth it,” says Maryam Abutaleb, Terp Thon’s hospital relations chair. “I couldn’t be more thankful that I chose to get involved in something like this. It’s so much bigger than myself, and it showed me what really matters.”

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Every hour or so the Morale Dancers come on stage decked out in spirit wear to teach parts of the “Morale Dance.” Josh Loock/The Diamondback

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