The student-led Dance Marathon program has earned a national award for its campus and community fundraising efforts.
The Organizational Management Award was presented during the 2022 Dance Marathon Leadership Conference, held July 21-24 in Atlanta.
Dance Marathon, a recognized student organization at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, annually raises funds and builds awareness for the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha to ensure every child can receive the highest quality care. The award recognized the group for success in areas such as board and committee structure, retreats, internal communication and data tracking.
Led last year by senior Ashley McMurchie, HuskerThon created a new mission statement and restructured their program’s management and executive teams. McMurchie’s emphasis on improving organizational communications and reframing the success of the organization to be that of its members furthered fueled the team participation.
“Being the executive director for UNDM enhanced my communication skills and pushed me out of my comfort zone to foster growth in my leadership and empathy,” McMurchie said.
Over the past year, Dance Marathon team members improved participant communication, developed a Miracle Maker resource folder, expanded fundraising data tracking capabilities through a new dashboard and created a new corporate sponsorship kit – but most meaningful is why the participants are committed to their cause.
“I dance for the kids who can’t,” McMurchie said. “My cousin Sam was born with a form of congenital heart disease. However, thanks to Children’s Hospital in Omaha, Sam celebrated his 14th birthday last March. I dance because Children’s (Hospital) gives kids like Sam the chance to grow up.”
Since its inception in 2004, the campus organization has raised more than $1.8 million. In the upcoming year, the organization plans to fund two pediatric intensive care unit inpatient rooms, a PICU conference room and glasses for the Visionmobile.
The Husker team is one of more than 400 collegiate dance marathon programs that raise funds to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.