UNC students raise thousands for children's hospital

Posted February 21, 2009 8:45 p.m. EST

— Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill helped raise nearly $400,000 for the North Carolina Children's Hospital this weekend by dancing for 24 hours.

The 11th annual UNC Dance Marathon began Friday night at Fetzer Gym. The event ended at 7 p.m. Saturday.

This year more than 1,800 students signed up to dance and agreed to raise at least $100. Committee members also held events throughout the year to contribute to the fundraising.

In total, $394,278 was raised to benefit the N.C. Children’s Hospital., officials said.

Student Michael Bucy started the Dance Marathon in 1998 as a way to unite the campus and help the patients and families of the N.C. Children’s Hospital, according to the dance marathon's Web site.

With the help of 12 students, Bucy held the first dance marathon in 1999 and raised more than $40,000. Ten years later, the UNC Dance Marathon has donated more than $1.5 million to the For the Kids Fund, directly benefiting the N.C. Children’s Hospital.

The fund provides for expenses not covered by insurance or Medicaid that families may not otherwise be able to afford, according to the Web site.