DanceBlue brought out the best in UK students

Many were hoping this year’s DanceBlue would break the $1 million threshold.

Ultimately, that goal was surpassed as $1,113,189.42 was raised (not including an additional endowment), thanks to the dedication of the students who raised funds and danced for 24 hours straight.

The funds raised will go to the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic.

More than 800 students participated in this year’s event, the eighth in DanceBlue’s history.

This year for the first time, dancers were allowed to pledge an amount to be paid later, meaning many students could still participate if they had yet to raise the required funds. This was a great idea to help grow the event.

DanceBlue was able to bring together many different student organizations at Memorial Coliseum, from fraternities and sororities to ROTC to the Christian Student Fellowship to the Student Development Council.

The students also were able to have more than just a monetary impact on the families, as many teams chose to participate in the Adopt-A-Family program. This is an incredible way for students to have a lasting impact beyond this campus.

“We are supporting someone going through this battle and he was here all last night and it gave it more meaning,” accounting senior Katlyn Teager said. “Sure our feet hurt and everything, but he fought for his life.”

The time and effort needed to raise the funds to be a participant and then dance for 24 hours is an incredible commitment. These students spent a lot of time in their often busy lives to do something for others.

Even though countless speakers stopped by or sent recorded messages to the participants thanking them for their efforts, it couldn’t have been said enough times.

Many who participated passed on their typical weekend activities or ESPN College GameDay and UK basketball’s overtime victory against Missouri.

Anyone who showed up to support those dancing, helped raised funds, spoke at the event or donated to DanceBlue at any point this year was a small part of a larger fight.

More people than just UK students made this year’s event a success. The support from those outside the UK community also was extraordinary.

Cancer is a terrible disease that we hope will be eradicated one day. In the meantime, the efforts of those who choose to fight the disease will continue to show the best in people.

The efforts of the students who participated have gone a long way to improve the lives of the families whose children are fighting the disease.

“This is a way for them to get out of the hospital and be able to hang out with people in an environment where they don’t have to worry about their disease,” nursing senior Rachel Coghill said.

Years of people fighting against cancer have done much to improve the lives of those with cancer and have helped save the lives of countless people’s parents, children and friends.

The students who participated showed just how much can be accomplished when people come together with a common purpose.

Next year’s DanceBlue certainly has a tough act to follow.

DanceBlue is a fun event that brings campus together, a 24-hour challenge to not sit or sleep and an emotional time to reflect.

However, the more than $1 million raised shows that after the 24 hours have passed, the event is truly all For The Kids.