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Dance Marathon Students Attend CMN Hospitals Momentum Conference

This past March, thirty Miracle Network Dance Marathon student leaders from across the nation were invited to Orlando, Florida to celebrate Children’s Hospitals Week at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ annual Momentum conference.

Students from , Florida State University, Purdue UniversityUniversity of Central FloridaUniversity of Iowa and The Ohio State University were invited to attend as a result of their programs being recognized in CMN Hospitals’ Miracle Million Club, meaning their Dance Marathon programs raised over $1 million in 2016. Students from Creighton University, Elon UniversityFlorida Atlantic University, and the University of Mississippi attended after their programs were recognized with 2016 Miracle Maker Awards, meaning their programs earned the highest monetary and percentage growth in their fundraising in 2016.

Dance Marathon student attendees with Dance Marathon Area Managers and Strategy Team members.

During the Children’s Hospitals Week celebration, the students were able to network with CMN Hospital’s staff as well as representatives from member hospital foundations and corporate partners, learn best practices from each other, attend educational breakout sessions, meet Champion families, and of course to provide some of that well-known Dance Marathon enthusiasm to the week.

For Ameena Chaudhry, Public Relations Director for University of Iowa Dance Marathon, one of the most impactful moments was getting to attend a social media breakout led by Lori Lewis.

“In an increasingly plugged-in world, making meaningful connections can be difficult without the right tools,” Chaudhry said. “Lori Lewis provided several examples of these tools, keeping the focus on an audience of potential donors, potential dancers, and potential partners.”

“The session really changed the way I look at social media and gave me so much material to take back to my leadership team to ensure that every single connection we make this year both grows with the modernity of the world we live in and is meaningful for the people we are hoping to touch,” she added.

John Lauck, CEO of CMN Hospitals, enlisted the help of students to do a Dance Marathon-style reveal to announce the total number that CMN Hospitals raised internationally in 2016–an incredible $378,357,312!

The students were also on hand during the Facebook Live-a-Thon to spread awareness about the Miracle Network Dance Marathon movement and, with the help of celebrity host Nick Cannon, announce the total funds raised by the 300 collegiate Dance Marathon programs in 2016.

Students announcing the 2016 Dance Marathon fundraising total with the help of Nick Cannon.

While the professional and personal development opportunities were plentiful, it was more than just the learning moments that left the students feeling motivated to continue to make a difference for the kids on their campuses.

“Meeting Champions and their families from not just my own state, but all 50 states and more, reminded me that our cause is nation-wide and showed me just how much this movement behind Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is bigger than myself,” said Dalton Clouse, Vice President of External Affairs for Purdue University Dance Marathon. “I’ve never felt more inspired to continuing working for these kids than I did after hearing how truly remarkable they all are.”

Chaudhry echoed that, saying “My experience at Momentum definitely inspired me to keep inspiring others. I’ve held a leadership position in Dance Marathon for almost three years now, so connections to the cause are never lacking. But experiences like Momentum, seeing the vast amount of people that share one single passion come together and talk to each other, learn together, truly solidified my belief that we as a group are forever growing, and that I and my fellow leadership members have the potential to create more and better future leaders that will devote themselves to the same cause and the same kids.”

Students from BuckeyeThon at The Ohio State University supporting the Children’s Hospitals Week awareness campaign with Vice President of Student Life at The Ohio State University and CMN Hospitals Board of Governors Member, Dr. Javaune Adams-Gatson.

Contributor: Kayla Bacon, Dance Marathon Strategy Team Intern

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