Four years of endurance, philanthropy pays off in unveiling of DanceBlue children’s clinic


Rave Hour during DanceBlue 2016. Sunday, February 28, 2016 in Lexington, Ky.

Maddi Dyment

The DanceBlue and Kentucky Children’s Hospital communities gathered in the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital this morning for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic.

The 6,000-square-foot clinic is about three times larger than the former children’s clinic, and features private infusion rooms for the kids—a luxury they did not have before. The DanceBlue organization put down a $1 million pledge towards this goal four years ago.

“We didn’t know in year one that we would be able to do something like this,” Family Relations Chair for DanceBlue Brant Cornelius said. “But with the great support from everyone, we were able to make the goal happen.”

DanceBlue began 12 years ago as a distant dream inspired by the late Jarrett Mynear, who was a former child cancer patient. With help from his mother, Jennifer Mynear, and UK staff member Susannah Denomme, the DanceBlue organization was formed as a way to get UK students involved in supporting the Kentucky Children’s Clinic.

The student body continues to raise money for the cause and participates in the 24-hour DanceBlue Marathon. They have raised close to $10 million as of this year.

“I really think the students love being a part of something bigger than them,” DanceBlue Public Relations Chair Kaylee Hobbs said. “They never even get to meet the families they’re helping, but still continue, and that’s such a powerful form of giving.”

The DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Clinic has been seeing patients since Jan. 9, but the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony today included speakers close to the project, such as DanceBlue founder Jennifer Mynear, DanceBlue Overall Chair Richie Simpson, UK President Eli Capiluto and KCH Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Dr. Lars Wagner, all celebrating the success of the largest philanthropy event coordinated by students. 

President Capilouto said DanceBlue is one of the best examples of the university coming together to benefit the community. “This defines who we are. This is the power of we,” he said. 

Despite reaching this goal, the DanceBlue organization plans to continue to fight “For the Kids,” as their slogan says.

“There will never be a time when DanceBlue is not needed,” Hobbs said. “As students, we will always be here to keep dancing for the kids and their families.”

UK students will hit the dance floor again for DanceBlue Feb. 25.