Northwestern University Dance Marathon
Now in its 39th year, Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM) is one of the largest student-run philanthropies in the nation. Since it was founded in 1975, Northwestern students have raised more than $13 million for more than thirty different beneficiaries.
This year, NUDM is proud to partner with the Danny Did Foundation and the Evanston Community Foundation as its primary and secondary beneficiaries respectively.
Danny Stanton died in his sleep due to SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) at only four years old. The Danny Did Foundation, created by Danny's parents, pledges to shine a light on SUDEP for as long as it is necessary to achieve major progress in awareness and in the advancement of preventative measures. NUDM 2013 is thrilled to support this cause in conjunction with the Danny Did Foundation.
In 1975, Dance Marathon, the philanthropic child of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and the Associated Student Government, was born on the Northwestern University campus.
It was called the "Dance to Give Them a Chance" marathon then, and it benefited the American Epilepsy Foundation and the National Association for Retarded Citizens. Fifteen couples made it through the fifty-two hour marathon, raising $9,100 at Blomquist Memorial Gymnasium. Today, Dance Marathon is one of the world's largest collegiate philanthropies!
While DM is now bigger than ever, some things never change. Couples are still sponsored by dorms and student organizations. The winning couple in 1975, Donna Miller and Tony Krileff, was sponsored by Bobb Hall and a local liquor store. And although Frank Sinatra, Jr., doesn't always visit anymore, DM does attract the attention of people like George and Barbara Bush, Jeff Probst and Scott Wolf, and NU alumni David Schwimmer and Cindy Crawford. Chicago celebrities, like former mayor Jane Byrne and Bears players Mike Tomczak, Keith Van Horne, and Trace Armstrong, have even been known to stop in and dance.
However, DM has seen more than a few changes over the years. DM 1976 saw a new venue as the dancing was moved to Patten Gym and the dancing time was lessened to twenty-six hours. The next year, though, was when DM found its current home: Norris University Center, where students have been dancing for thirty hours at a time ever since. Little amenities for the dancers were also added over the years, like foot massages and extended bathroom breaks. Chicago's Second City comedy troupe paid a visit in 1984. Since that time, popular bands and performers have been a highlight of DM weekend. Most importantly, DM now includes over 750 dancers, each dancer raising at least $400 for the honor of dancing, and thousands of student volunteers.
In the past 5 years DM has moved into a large tent on the Norris East Lawn for DM weekend, live streamed the entire event, and introduced new annual events. DM has also continued to support its secondary beneficiary, the Evanston Community Foundation for many years. In 2011 DM broke the $1 million mark for the first time in its history and was subsequently named the "Most Influential College Student Organization" in the nation by the StayClassy philanthropy awards.
DM 2013: $1,214,632 (Danny Did Foundation)
DM 2012: $1,107,670 (The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation)
DM 2011: $1,019,130 (The Children's Heart Foundation)
DM 2010: $854,396 (StandUp for Kids)
DM 2009: $917,834 (Project Kindle)
DM 2008: $933,855 (Bear Necessities)
DM 2007: $708,711 (CURE-Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy)
DM 2006: $686,377 (Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative)
DM 2005: $625,131 (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
DM 2004: $461,294 (Have Dreams)
DM 2003: $462,613 (Chicago Urban Youth Scholarship Fund)
DM 2002: $492,000 (Friends for Steven)
DM 2001: $540,257 (Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation)
DM 2000: $537,645 (Gilda's Club Chicago)
DM 1999: $450,833 (Children's Heart Foundation)
DM 1998: $431,524 (La Rabida Children's Hospital and Research Center)
DM 1997: $405,563 (The Gus Foundation)
DM 1996: $315,143 (Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northern Illinois)
DM 1995: $301,023 (Pediatrics AIDS Ward of Children's Memorial)
DM 1994: $250,258 (Leukemia Research Foundation)
DM 1993: $200,438 (American Heart Association)
DM 1992: $255,000 (American Diabetes Foundation)
DM 1991: $191,000 (Les Turner ALS Foundation)
DM 1990: $136,300 (Leukemia Society)
DM 1989: $115,238 (Leukemia Society)
DM 1988: $112,734 (Howard Brown Memorial Clinic)
DM 1987: $112,628 (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation)
DM 1986: $90,021 (Easter Seals)
DM 1985: $86,428 (United Cerebral Palsy)
DM 1984: $76,663 (Easter Seals)
DM 1983: $66,089 (Juvenile Diabetes)
DM 1982: $60,428 (Multiple Sclerosis Society)
DM 1981: $42,000 (Arthritis Foundation)
DM 1980: $33,100 (Chicago Lung Association)
DM 1979: $30,000 (United Cerebral Palsy)
DM 1978: $26,507 (United Way Crusade for Mercy)
DM 1977: $21,958 (American Epilepsy Foundation)
DM 1976: $9,573 (American Epilepsy Foundation)
DM 1975: $9,100 (American Epilepsy Foundation)