Upstate Golisano benefits from 12 hours of dancing by SU students
One of the Upstate Foundation’s largest gifts this year comes not from a leading business, charitable foundation or philanthropist, but from Syracuse University students who danced the night away this winter to raise $84,013.13 for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.
For 12 hours, from 6 p.m. Feb. 28 to 6 a.m. March 1, nearly 500 dancers danced for kids who could not.
Actually the dance marathon, called OttoTHON out of respect for Syracuse’s citrusy mascot, Otto the Orange, was the culmination of the students’ yearlong fundraising efforts, and it reached some impressive milestones.
According to the organizers, the event raised more money than any other first-year dance marathon in the Northeast, had the most registered participants for a first-year dance marathon and become the largest philanthropy at Syracuse University. It also earned the Syracuse University’s Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement, and the Outstanding Philanthropy Programming and Scholarship, which is given each year to Syracuse University students and groups whose work in partnership with organizations and citizens exemplifies meaningful and sustained engagement.
The fundraising for OttoTHON began in October 2014 with a social media blitz that raised awareness for the effort. Donations poured in and sponsors too—among them, numerous Central New York businesses that signed up to keep the students fed and hydrated during the overnight dance.
Early on, student organizers reached out to the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) with ideas to benefit a children’s hospital and discovered a CMN-affiliated hospital was located just at the end of campus. Before students could begin raising money for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, they needed to be sanctioned as an official student group. Once this advance work was done, the fundraising began.
“This event did not just happen overnight,” said the Foundation’s Lorie Riedl. “The behind the scenes and advanced planning for this event was a significant undertaking; the students deserve a round of applause for making this a reality.”
“The overwhelming success of this first-year project was beyond anyone’s expectations, and we are overjoyed at this new relationship we have forged with this group of students,” Riedl said.
Syracuse University student Jillian Lynch, founder and director of OttoTHON, speaking on behalf of all the students who danced and those who gave, couldn’t be more pleased to have raised more than $84,000
“Together we are making an impact on the families of children treated at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital,” said Lynch who was also recognized by Syracuse University for her efforts.
Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital will also benefit from the second annual OttoTHON, which is set for this fall.
Caption: Child Life Specialist Beth Kinsley, left, took the E-board from members of Syracuse University’s OttoTHON on a tour of Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital last week when they delivered the $84,013.33 raised by their dance marathon held from Feb. 28 to March 1. Here, the students get a look inside the hospital’s multisensory room, which provides a variety of therapeutic interventions for pediatric patients during their hospitalization.
(Reprinted from Upstate Online 4/30/15)
Children's Miracle Network Hospital's national partner, Rite Aid, made a visit to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in preparation for their annual fund raising campaign and annual golf tournament. Since their partnership began, over $500,000 has been raised to benefit the sick and injured children and their families cared for at GCH. Pictured in the photo are store managers from Syracuse district 22419 as well as district managers and members of the administrative team. Thank you, Rite Aid, for making a difference in our community.
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