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Big-time Impact

SU Dance Marathon blows by special anniversary goal, surpasses impressive milestone

Written by Mike Thee
Photography by Matthew Lipsen
February 22, 2017

They set an ambitious goal. And then they went out and totally obliterated it. 

In keeping with Seattle University’s 125th anniversary celebration, organizers of SU’s 2017 Dance Marathon endeavored to raise $1,000 for every year of the university’s existence—about $15,000 more than the student-driven effort raised last year. 

When the music stopped early Sunday morning to end the 16-hour test of philanthropically motivated endurance, the sought-after $125,000 goal was reached. And then some. All told, more than $148,000 was raised to benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Strong Against Cancer Research Initiative and Uncompensated Care Fund. 

Launched 10 years ago, SU’s Dance Marathon is the oldest of its kind on the West Coast. With funds raised this past weekend, the marathon has now cumulatively brought in more than a half million dollars to support kids who are fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases and conditions. Well done, marathoners, well done! 

“Participating in Dance Marathon has been the most life-changing experience I have ever had,” says Desi Caswell, executive director of SU Dance Marathon and a junior majoring in Humanities for Leadership and Cultural Anthropology. (Caswell, you might remember, was featured in a Seattle Times article on Dance Marathon last month.) 

“Seeing the impact that SUDM has not only at the hospital, but for our student body as well, is inspiring,” she continues. “Nothing can describe the feeling when those giant reveal numbers go up at 2 a.m. and you realize that impact you have had in such a big cause—an end to childhood illness.” 

For a gallery of photos from the event, view this slideshow. Learn more about Dance Marathon here