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Bustin' moves of BGSU students burst record at annual marathon

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    Maddison Brown, left, prepares to leap off a stage to be caught by her friend Colleen Burrill during the second day of BGSU's marathon.

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    Brittany Bowersock, left, Jackie Jamiot, Alex Frederick, and Stephanie Greco join the crowd in raising their arms to catch a free T-shirt at BGSU's 32-hour marathon.

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    Jake West shows his smooth dance moves on stage to keep his adrenaline up.

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    Nadean Borders, left, in silver, Mick Earley, center, and Sarah Gruss, right, in pink, keep dancing in the recreation center to help sick and injured children at Mercy Children's Hospital in Toledo.

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bgsu-dance-marathon-1

Nadean Borders, left, in silver, Mick Earley, center, and Sarah Gruss, right, in pink, keep dancing in the recreation center to help sick and injured children at Mercy Children's Hospital in Toledo.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
Enlarge | Buy This Image

bgsu-dance-marathon-2

Brittany Bowersock, left, Jackie Jamiot, Alex Frederick, and Stephanie Greco join the crowd in raising their arms to catch a free T-shirt at BGSU's 32-hour marathon.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
Enlarge | Buy This Image

bgsu-dance-marathon-3

Maddison Brown, left, prepares to leap off a stage to be caught by her friend Colleen Burrill during the second day of BGSU's marathon.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
Enlarge | Buy This Image

bgsu-dance-marathon-4

Jake West shows his smooth dance moves on stage to keep his adrenaline up.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
Enlarge | Buy This Image

BOWLING GREEN — As Sweet 16 dances go, Bowling Green State University students busted not only their moves over a 32-hour span, but their record for raising money for charity.

With chants of "for the kids" resounding through the student recreation center and a balloon drop worthy of a political convention's wrap-up, BGSU's Dance Marathon Sunday night ended with a record $217,785.92 for Mercy Children's Hospital in Toledo.

The marathon, which is BGSU's 16th, is more an endurance contest than dance.

Participants must remain awake the entire 32 hours.

When they aren't dancing, they can play games, listen to bands, and hang out.

Nodding off is not allowed.

Each dancer is assigned a "morale-er" who makes sure the dancers stay awake.

Even after the marathon's official end at 6 p.m., participants continued milling about, listening to music and exchanging hugs.

Lendi Joy, 22, a senior from Bowling Green, said she was wide awake after its conclusion.

"I feel great. I feel exhilarated," she said.

Ms. Joy said she was motivated by the knowledge that she was participating in an event that benefited children who are ill.

But after she spent a weekend on her feet, a 9:30 physical education class this morning posed a serious challenge, she said.

Chrissy Daniel, 21, a senior from Willard, Ohio, said she was motivated by the large number of "miracle children," youngsters who benefited from funds raised for Children's Miracle network, at the event.

"These children are why we do this," said Ms. Daniel, who was the event's organizer. "It was so special."

BGSU's dance marathon has raised more than $2.2 million to benefit Mercy Children's Hospital in Toledo, organizers said.

Last year about $152,000 was generated. The previous record, $192,000, was raised in 2006, Ms. Daniel said.

The marathon is BGSU's largest student-run philanthropy event and one of the largest in Ohio, Ms. Joy said.

Although activities in the recreation center began at 10 a.m. Saturday, BGSU's marathon is practically a year-round event.

Earlier in the week, a group of 130 bicyclists went to Cincinnati to ride back to Bowling Green.

The goal was to raise awareness of their mission among people they met along the way, Clayton Stewart, 21, a junior from Findlay, said.

Mr. Stewart, who was in charge of securing donations from faculty, staff, and administrators, said regular planning meetings for the dance marathon are held throughout the school term.

Smaller fund-raisers are conducted to keep the students focused on the big dance, said Mr. Stewart.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, founded in 1983, is an alliance of 170 hospitals that treat youngsters who suffer from life-threatening or life-altering diseases and injuries.

Contact Jim Sielicki at: jsielicki@theblade.com, or 419-724-6050

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