Students dance for donations for Arkansas Children’s Hospital

Every minute, 62 children enter a Children’s Miracle

Network Hospital, according to the Children’s Miracle

Network Hospital website.

Many children’s hospitals rely on donations, which go

toward paying for children’s medical bills that aren’t paid

for by insurance.

In order for CMN hospitals to raise money, they rely on

organizations like Dance Marathon.

ULM’S Dance Marathon held their annual Dance Marathon

last month, which helps raise money for Arkansas

Children’s Hospital.

This year participants raised $5,651.

According to Danielle Camacho, the internal vice president

of Dance Marathon, 18% of the money goes to helping

provide charitable care, 15% goes to life-saving equipment,

12% supports medical research and 55% provides

education, patient and advancement services.

Students helped raise money in a variety of ways. Some

played games, posted on social media and donated

through their teams.

One way students were encouraged to donate was

through set goals each hour. These goals were determined

based on a child who received medical care at a CMN


According to Camacho, the three children they based the

goals on were Koen Smith, Gracie Beck and Zach Chamness.

Smith was a baby treated in the NICU at a CMN Hospital,

and every day there are 925 babies treated in a CMN

hospital. that’s why the options for donation amounts

were $9, $2 and $5.

Beck is a triplet who was born at 25 weeks and “has been

on ECMO life support twice and against all odds survived

[…] which is why we made a board to raise $25 for each

triplet,” Camacho said.

Chamness has been cancer free for seven years, so “our

goal was to raise $7 for each year he has been cancer free,”

Camacho said.

Aixa Tharyani, the director of event operations, said having

teams of students participate at the event drastically

improves the outcome.

“We are a student-led organization so having participants

and teams from our college peers really helps drive

and keep us going as well as motivated,” Tharyani said.

Ryleigh Rowland, a senior finance student, was on a

team with her sorority Kappa Beta Gamma. Together, they

raised over $150.

“I think it’s important to show support whether it be

financially or just a smile and letter to them,” Rowland said.

Carmin Velasquez, the director of morale, taught participants

a dance to a compilation of Disney songs.

“The dance is so important because it brings so many

individuals together as a hype crew,” Velasquez said. “It

helps keep the energy up and get everyone excited to

fundraise for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.”