Hundreds of Kansas University students started dancing at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center.
And they’d keep getting down for the next 12 hours as part of the second Dance Marathon at KU.
The event, which aimed to raise $50,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, is a nationally sponsored benefit at college campuses across the country.
KU sophomore Alex Ross started the event after a visit to a dance marathon at Vanderbilt.
It looked like fun, and was a way to help out the community, Ross said.
Even with more than 100 organizers, Ross was surprised by the turnout, and said he hopes the marathon expands next year.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I never expected it to be this big.”
The money raised at the event will help support the work of KU Pediatrics and Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.
Some of the local families who’ve benefited from such organizations were on hand at the marathon.
John Kaberline, 10, Topeka, was in the crowd with his parents, Michelle and Craig. John battled leukemia from age 2 until 2005, when years of chemotherapy and treatment at Children’s Mercy helped John defeat the illness.
“They make it fun for the kids,” Michelle said of the time John — now an active, healthy fourth-grader — spent at the hospital.
Michelle said raising awareness and much-needed money for the cause helps provide support for others who went through what her family did.
“It’s not fun. It’s brutal. But you can get through it,” she said.
While raising money for children like John was the main goal of the dance marathon, Ross said he was encouraged to see so many young adults helping out their community.
“It’s amazing to see college kids unite,” he said.