The University of Central Arkansas is holding its second annual dance marathon event to raise money for Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on campus.
UCA student and event president Haley Goodwin said last year they were able to raise around $2,800 for the cause but this year, they’re shooting for $7,000 and are currently sitting at around $5,000.
“We are really close to our goal and [that’s] wonderful,” she said.
Goodwin said during the event, participants — there are 90 signed up so far — would hear stories from several patients from ACH in attendance, have the opportunity to play games and hear live entertainment and get food from the snack booth.
While the name dance marathon might dissuade people from coming, she said guests would not have to dance the whole time but reminds people that even if their dancing is terrible, they’re raising money for the children.
“Bad dancing saves lives,” she said.
Goodwin said, in turn, they would be learning easy steps throughout the day to a type of line dance and, together, will be performing it at the end of the day.
“Our goal is to educate UCA and the Conway community about ACH and what a great [cause] it is,” she said.
Goodwin said the cause is dear to her heart because she was a patient at ACH when she was younger; she had Non Rhabdomyosarcoma, with a 20 percent chance of life.
The 19-year-old said without ACH she “wholeheartedly” believes she would not be alive, so when the hospital’s foundation initially approached her about bringing the national movement to UCA, she was thrilled to and through sharing her story during the fundraising process, realized how powerful her story was for everyone that heard it.
“I have made it my personal goal to really share [my story] with whoever I can get my hands on,” Goodwin said. “Any way I can give back, I am more than happy to do so.”
Registration for the event is $20.
UCA Dance Marathon is a student-led organization on the UCA campus and is a member of the Miracle Network family, which consists of more than 400 schools and universities across the nation that support Miracle Network Hospitals.
To learn more about the event, visit ucadancemarathon.com.